Getty Images Anderson Cooper
The television journalist Anderson Cooper, the biggest star on CNN, on Monday publicly identified himself as gay. He was concerned, he said, that his long-held silence on the matter had led some to believe that he was uncomfortable or ashamed of his sexuality.
Mr. Cooper came out in an e-mail message to Andrew Sullivan, the openly gay blogger for The Daily Beast, which was republished in full with his permission. The e-mail affirmed what had been an open secret in Manhattan and media circles for years, but had never been addressed publicly by Mr. Cooper.
Mr. Cooper said he had been “reminded recently” that there is value in standing up and being counted. “The fact is, I’m gay, always have been, always will be, and I couldn’t be any more happy, comfortable with myself, and proud,” he wrote to Mr. Sullivan.
Mr. Cooper hosts a prime-time show on CNN, “Anderson Cooper 360,” and a daytime talk show on local stations, “Anderson.” He is also a contributor to “60 Minutes” on CBS. The announcement on Monday makes him the most prominent openly gay journalist on American television.
The understated announcement caught some people at those networks off guard on Monday, though his sexual orientation was known to them, just as it was to friends and other journalists. Network publicists sometimes tried to impose ground rules on interviews of Mr. Cooper to ensure that he wasn’t asked what he called on Monday “the gay question.” But he was asked occasionally, nonetheless, and wasn’t willing to answer directly until now.