Anderson Cooper is one of the most popular television personalities working today. He’s the host of Anderson Cooper 360 on CNN, and he also covers some of the biggest news events for that network. Plus, he’s the host of Anderson Live, his own daytime talk show, and he’ll be the host of the second presidential debate of the 2016 election season. With all those eyes on him, many viewers are curious about Cooper’s personal life.
The 49-year-old broadcast journalist is a big believer in maintaining privacy and not opening up much about his life outside of the studio. But we do know that his partner is 43-year-old Benjamin Maisani, and the couple met in 2009. The two of them currently live together in New York City.
Because they are so private, a lot about the couple is unknown. But there are still enough bits and pieces out there to assemble a somewhat clear image of who Benjamin Maisan is and what his relationship with Anderson Cooper is like. Here’s what you need to know.
1. He Came to New York to Study Film
Maisani originally came to New York city wanting to study filmmaking. He graduated from Hunter College, and his first job out of college was working at the Morgan Library at Madison Avenue.
But after wanting something that offered better pay, he ended up taking a job at Barracuda, a gay bar in Chelsea.
Working at this bar helped Maisani to come out of his shell, he told Frenchly.
“I’ve always been a night person,” he said. “The bar got me out of my books and the cozy atmosphere of the Morgan. And working in a social environment forced me to work on my timidity. It gave me self-confidence.”
2. He’s the Owner of Several Bars in New York City
These days, Maisani is still involved in the bar industry, although now not as a bartender but as an owner. He owns three popular bars located throughout New York City.
The first is Easternbloc, a gay bar located on 505 E 6th St. His second is another gay bar called Bedlam Bar & Lounge, located on 40 Avenue C. And in 2013, he opened up his third gay bar, Atlas Social Club, which is located on 753 9th Ave.
When Atlas Social Club opened its doors in 2013, Anderson Cooper came to the opening event in support of Maisani, as did a few other celebrities including Alan Cumming, Kelly Ripa and Whoopi Goldberg.
He was also the owner of the Sugarland Nightclub in Brooklyn, but unfortunately that bar closed in 2014.
Maisani says that he rarely goes out himself, only really visiting his bars for administrative reasons, according to Frenchly.
3. He Doesn’t Want to Be Famous
A lot of people are interested in Maisani’s life seeing as they’re fans of Cooper’s. But Maisani is not really interested in being a celebrity.
“I understand that it interests people but it doesn’t interest me,” Maisani told Frenchly. “Like most people, I never really thought about it and I never wanted to be a celebrity. I knew I’d have to be careful right from the start before it had a chance to get out of hand.”
Maisani and Cooper have that in common; Anderson Cooper also rarely talks about his personal life. In fact, he did not come out of the closet until 2012, in part because he wanted to keep his personal life to himself.
“I still consider myself a reserved person and I hope this doesn’t mean an end to a small amount of personal space,” he said at the time. “But I do think visibility is important, more important than preserving my reporter’s shield of privacy.”
4. He & Cooper Live in Greenwich Village
Benjamin Maisani and Anderson Cooper currently live together in a renovated firehouse in Greenwich Village. The couple purchased it in 2009 for approximately $4.3 million, according to The Daily Mail.
But Maisani and Cooper own several other homes, including a mansion in Connecticut estimated to cost between $5 million and $9 million, according to Page Six. That Connecticut home is 10,000 square feet and consists of 18 rooms.
Cooper also has a waterfront in the Hamptons that cost him $1.7 million.
5. They’re Open to Having Kids One Day
Maisani and Cooper do not currently have children, but Cooper said earlier this year that he’s open to it. In particular, Cooper’s mother, Gloria Vanderbilt, is a big proponent of that idea.
“She constantly has asked me about having kids, yes, and that’s something she’d like to see,” he said. “You know maybe, some day. I would certainly love…to have kids. I love kids. Who knows? I work a lot, so I would have to kind of change my work schedule.”
Cooper then admitted that having children is definitely something he has had on his mind.