Anderson Cooper's coverage of Hurricane Katrina was a deeply personal experience. "My dad was from Mississippi. He had spent a lot of time growing up in New Orleans," Anderson says. "I spent time there as a kid. To be surrounded by all these places and these things that I had visited with him and then see them in the wake of Katrina, it brought the past and the present together."
Anderson is committed to continuing to give voice to the people of the Gulf States. "I made a promise in those terrible dark days that I would not forget that story," he says. "For me in fact it was not a 'story,' because those people are not characters. This is real life."
It was in the midst of Katrina that Anderson decided to stop running from the past and to tell his own story.