CNN presenter and journalist Anderson Cooper outed himself as gay Monday, saying he "couldn't be any more happy, comfortable with myself, and proud."
The 45-year-old confirmed what for many was common knowledge in an email to a journalist for The Daily Beast online who had asked Cooper to comment on the issue of celebrities coming out.
"Even though my job puts me in the public eye, I have tried to maintain some level of privacy in my life. Part of that has been for purely personal reasons," he wrote to journalist Andrew Sullivan.
"I think most people want some privacy for themselves and the people they are close to," he added in the email, published on the British journalist's "The Dish" blog on the Daily Beast.
But said Cooper: "Recently... I've begun to consider whether the unintended outcomes of maintaining my privacy outweigh personal and professional principle.
"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 -- something that makes me uncomfortable, ashamed or even afraid. This is distressing because it is simply not true.
He continued: "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."
Cooper is the main anchor of the daily news show "Anderson Cooper 360" on CNN, but also had a syndicated daytime talk show, "Anderson."
His comments came after an article last week in "Entertainment Weekly" highlighting an emerging trend for gay people in public life to come out in a more restrained way than in the past.
The CNN presenter said in his email published Monday: "I have always been very open and honest about this part of my life with my friends, my family, and my colleagues.
"In a perfect world, I don't think it's anyone else's business, but I do think there is value in standing up and being counted. I'm not an activist, but I am a human being and I don't give that up by being a journalist."