CNN presenter Anderson Cooper announces he is gay

Anderson Cooper arrives at the 2012 Vanity Fair Oscar party in West Hollywood, California in this 26 February 2012 Anderson Cooper hosts a prime-time news show on CNN and a daytime talk show

CNN presenter Anderson Cooper has publicly announced that he is gay.

In an email published online, Cooper said he was proud of his sexuality and had decided to speak out in case anyone thought he was ashamed.

The son of socialite Gloria Vanderbilt, he said he had not previously spoken out on his sexual orientation for personal and professional reasons.

CNN said it had no comment and there were no plans for Cooper to discuss the matter on air.

He wrote in the email, published by Andrew Sullivan of the Daily Beast: "It's become clear to me that by remaining silent on certain aspects of my personal life for so long, I have given some the mistaken impression that I am trying to hide something."

He continues: "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.

"I have always been very open and honest about this part of my life with my friends, my family, and my colleagues."

Cooper's sexual orientation had long been subject to rumours.

His show, Anderson Cooper 360, received an award earlier this year from a gay rights group.

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