As you already know, October is LGBT History Month. Each week throughout the month, we will be profiling two of the people named to Equality Forum’s LGBT History Month icon lists, to showcase the great things LGBT people have done, and are doing.
Anderson Cooper (born June 3, 1967)
Anderson Cooper was born in New York City, the son of writer Wyatt Cooper and the heiress Gloria Vanderbilt. He was thrust into the limelight early, first appearing on television at the age of three and was signed by Ford Models at the age of 10. He dealt with tragedies very early in his life, such as the death of his father in 1978 and the suicide of his brother in 1988. It was the suicide of his brother that caused Anderson Cooper to become interested in pursuing journalism as a career path.After graduating from Yale University, he tried applying for an entry-level job with ABC in New York City and was unsuccessful to land even a job answering telephones. From there, he funded a trip to Southeast Asia and produced his own news segments about the military junta in Myanmar. Channel One, a news organization for schoolchildren, bought the segments and gave him his first media exposure. He followed his tour in Myanmar with a year in Vietnam.ABC finally noticed him and he started as a news reporter in their New York City bureau in 1995, eventually becoming anchor of the overnight news program World News Now. While at ABC, he also hosted the reality TV series The Mole (2000-2002). In 2002 he switched networks to CNN, first anchoring the morning program with Paula Zahn, and then earning his own series, Anderson Cooper 360, in 2003. It was at CNN that the world became aware of his globetrotting original reporting, sharing breaking news with millions live from New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, from Niger during a killer famine, from Sri Lanka after the killer Indian Ocean tsunami, and from Tahrir Square in Cairo before, during and after the fall of dictator Hosni Mubarak during the 2011 Arab Spring.In 2011 Cooper started production on his own daytime talk show. Rumors of his homosexuality, considered an “open secret” in many circles, began to reverberate as it was considered hypocritical of him to enter into a genre which asks celebrities to share their personal lives, yet he was not willing to share his life with his viewers. He finally came out to the public in July 2012 to widespread support, but his daytime talk show format never resonated with viewers, and was canceled in 2013. Throughout his career, he has won two GLAAD Media Awards, four Emmy Awards, and a Peabody Award.http://rss.cnn.com/services/podcasting/ac360/rss.xml
Nathan Lane (born February 3, 1956)
Lane was born in Jersey City, New Jersey and was a graduate of St. Peter’s Preparatory High School. Originally named “Joseph,” he took the name “Nathan” in college from the character Nathan Detroit, lead role in the musical Guys and Dolls. He earned a Drama Desk nomination for his Broadway debut in Present Laughter (1982). He also appeared in the plays Merlin (1983), The Wind in the Willows (1985) and Broadway Bound (1986).