Anderson Cooper's Tragedy
"In retrospect, 'follow your bliss' is fantastic advice," Anderson says. "The problem [was], I didn't know what [my bliss] was."
After failed attempts at landing a job with ABC News and after a short stint as a researcher for Channel One, a television network aimed at young adults, Anderson decided to take a risk. "I decided, well, if no one's going to give me a chance, I'm going to have to take a chance. And I came up with this plan, which was to go to wars by myself with a home video camera. I figured if I went to places where there weren't many Americans and where other people didn't want to go, then I wouldn't have much competition."
Anderson set off for Southeast Asia, and began shooting news stories, hoping to sell them to Channel One. On his first story, Anderson sneaked across the Thai border to report from war-torn Myanmar, the country formerly known as Burma.
"Right after Burma I realized this is what I wanted to do," he says. "I mean, being able to go places and tell people's stories—it was perfect for me."