How I Made My Hair Turn Grey

Hillary August writes in the Yale Daily News about CNN’s Anderson Cooper and his passion for crew.

“Instead of devoting extracurricular hours to honing his journalistic skills with one of the campus publications, Cooper devoted himself to the Yale crew team.

After failing to keep up with his teammates and having his dreams of rowing dashed, Cooper found another seat for himself at the front of the boat. At 5-feet-10., Cooper decided to go down to 125 pounds to make race weight as a coxswain.

“It was sort of absurd,” Cooper said. “I was probably normally 145 or 150 regularly, so it was a little extreme looking back on it. It’s probably why I went grey early. I think I’ve always been sort of intense or obsessive … I wanted to stick with the sport. I don’t know if that was a very good idea, but it was a great experience.”

Joel Furtek ’90, Cooper’s fellow coxswain, remarked on the physical rigor through with Cooper put himself to succeed as a coxswain. Furtek said that, at 5-foot-6, making weight was difficult enough for himself, and he could only imagine how hard it was for the lanky Cooper.

“He was definitely very driven and very intense,” Furtek said. “I remember he would have to cut his weight very hard every week to get down to racing weight … So in addition to just practicing and all of that, he put his body in a world of hurt.”

‘Anderson always maintained equanimity,” Card said. “How you see him on TV is the way he was then, too.'”