CNN anchor and author Anderson Cooper’s new book, “Vanderbilt: The Rise and Fall of an American Dynasty,” chronicles the lives of some of the most remarkable members of the Vanderbilt family. Cooper, the great-great-great-grandson of Cornelius “Commodore” Vanderbilt, the richest man in 19th century America, sits down with Washington Post deputy editorial page editor Karen Tumulty to discuss the fabulous wealth, familial discord, triumphs and tragedies of this legendary American dynasty.


Until the death of his mother, Gloria Vanderbilt, in 2019, CNN anchor Anderson Cooper says he downplayed his connection to the Vanderbilts because people treated him differently. Now a father himself, Cooper said he was inspired to write his new book, “Vanderbilt: The Rise and Fall of an American Dynasty,” to share the story of his family with his son. “He won’t know his grandmother. He won’t know my dad. But though this book, I kind of wanted it to be a letter for him about that family if and when he wants to learn about them.” (Washington Post Live)
CNN anchor and author Anderson Cooper says he attributes his success to his parents instilling him with confidence and self-worth. “I do think really one of the greatest privileges I had was that as a child my mom and my dad included my brother and I in on everything…It gave me a sense of worth and a sense of ‘I may be a kid, but I have some value, and some interests and my opinions matter just like any of these other people’s opinions.’ I think that gave me a certain confidence that I may not have otherwise had.” (Washington Post Live)

Anderson Cooper

Anderson Cooper is the anchor of CNN's Anderson Cooper 360°, a global newscast that goes beyond the headlines with in-depth reporting and investigations. The show airs weeknights at 8:00pm ET on CNN and is simulcast to an international audience on CNN International. Cooper also hosts Anderson Cooper Full Circle, a streaming show which airs on CNN's digital properties weekdays at 5pm ET and is also available on demand.

Since the start of his career in 1992, Cooper has worked in more than forty countries and has covered nearly all-major news events around the world, often reporting from the scene.

Cooper has also played a pivotal role in CNN’s political and election coverage. He has anchored from conventions and moderated several presidential primary debates and town halls. In 2016, Cooper was selected by the Committee On Presidential Debates to co-moderate one of the three debates between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.