Wyatt Emory Cooper
|Wyatt Emory Cooper|
September 1, 1927|
Quitman, Mississippi, U.S.
|Died||January 5, 1978
New York City, U.S.
|Cause of death||complications from heart attack|
|Occupation||American author and screenwriter|
|Spouse(s)||Gloria Vanderbilt (1963–1978, his death)|
|Children||Carter Vanderbilt Cooper (1965-1988)
Wyatt Emory Cooper (September 1, 1927 – January 5, 1978) was an American author and screenwriter.
Life and career
Cooper was born in the small town of Quitman, Mississippi outside of Meridian, Mississippi, the son of Rixie Jane Annie (née Anderson) and Emmet Debro Cooper. He was from a poor family with deep Southern roots, and later moved to New Orleans, Louisiana, as a young child. Cooper moved to New York in his twenties to pursue acting. When he was 26, he appeared on Broadway in the cast of The Strong Are Lonely, a drama that ran for a week at the Broadhurst Theatre in the fall of 1953. Cooper also wrote stories and plays.
Cooper moved to Manhattan in the early 1960s and worked there as a magazine editor. He married heiress Gloria Vanderbilt on December 24, 1963; Cooper was her fourth husband. The photogenic couple frequently appeared on the national "best-dressed" list. They had two sons, Carter Vanderbilt Cooper (1965–1988) and CNN anchor Anderson Cooper (b. 1967). "It is in the family that we learn almost all we ever know of loving," Wyatt Cooper wrote in his 1975 memoir. "In my sons' youth, their promise, their possibilities, my stake in immortality is invested."
In his thirties Cooper lived in Los Angeles and worked as a screenwriter. He attended both UCLA and UC Berkeley. While residing in West Hollywood, then an unincorporated area of Los Angeles County, Cooper lived near Dorothy Parker and her husband Alan Campbell. A close friendship developed, and a year after Mrs. Parker's 1967 death Cooper published an incisive and widely read profile of her in Esquire magazine.
Wyatt Cooper died on January 5, 1978, in New York City during open heart surgery, aged 50.
- Barnwell, Marion (1997). A Place Called Mississippi: Collected Narratives. University Press of Mississippi.
- Cooper, Wyatt. "Whatever You Think Dorothy Parker Was Like, She Wasn't." Esquire. July 1968. pp. 56–61, 110–14
- Families: A Memoir and a Celebration (Harper & Row, 1975) ISBN 0-06-010857-6
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