The skin of a woman's hand was peeling off like a glove.
Revealing macabre fascination, Cooper whipped out his disposable camera and took a closeup photograph for his personal album. Later that person showed Cooper the photo, saying, "You need to take a look at what you were doing." "And that's when I realized I've got to stop, [...] I've got to report on some state fairs or a beauty pageant or something, to just, like, remind myself of some perspective." In 1995, Cooper became a correspondent for ABC News, eventually rising to the position of co-anchor on its overnight World News Now program on September 21, 1999.
Describing the experience, Cooper wrote "Africa was a place to forget and be forgotten in." During college, Cooper spent two summers as an intern at the Central Intelligence Agency.
Although he has no formal journalistic education, he opted to pursue a career in journalism rather than stay with the agency after school, After his first correspondence work in the early 1990s, he took a break from reporting and lived in Vietnam for a year, during which time he studied the Vietnamese language at the University of Hanoi.
After Cooper graduated from Yale University, he tried to gain entry-level employment with ABC answering telephones, but was unsuccessful.
Finding it hard to get his foot in the door of on-air reporting, Cooper decided to enlist the help of a friend in making a fake press pass.
So I was sleeping in two- or four-hour shifts, and I was really tired and wanted a change.
Persuading Channel One to allow him to bring a Hi-8 camera with him, Cooper soon began filming and assembling reports of Vietnamese life and culture that aired on Channel One.
At age 17, after graduating from Dalton a semester early, Cooper traveled around Africa for several months on a "survival trip".
He contracted malaria on the trip and was hospitalized in Kenya.
Would I be able to survive and get on in the world on my own?
Cooper was educated at the Dalton School, a private co-educational university preparatory day school in New York City.