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When CNN anchor Anderson Cooper receives GLAAD's Vito Russo Award, given to openly gay media professionals who have contributed to the fight for equality, later this month, he'll be getting it from an iconic presenter -- none other than Madonna.
Cooper and Madonna have been friends for many years and share an interest in the cause of LGBT rights, GLAAD officials said. "Madonna has been a passionate spokesperson and longtime supporter of gay rights," GLAAD president Herndon Graddick said in a press release. "She has embraced LGBT people around the world on many occasions. From speaking out against bullying to raising support for marriage equality, Madonna has always been one of our community's strongest allies. We are honored to have her stand with GLAAD and Anderson Cooper."
Vito Russo, the namesake of Cooper's award, was a GLAAD cofounder, AIDS and gay rights activist, film historian, and author of The Celluloid Closet, a groundbreaking look at gay people in the movies. Previous recipients include Ricky Martin, Rosie O'Donnell, and Elton John.
"By sharing his own experiences as a gay man, Anderson has reminded millions of Americans that LGBT people are part of their everyday lives and an integral part of our cultural fabric," Graddick said. "He continues to raise the bar and set a new standard for journalists everywhere, and I'm proud to call him a friend."
Cooper will receive the award at a ceremony March 16 at the New York Marriott Marquis. Other GLAAD Awards presentations will be held April 20 in Los Angeles and May 11 in San Francisco. For tickets and more information, click here.