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    Anderson Cooper to Receive Major GLAAD Media Award

    Anderson Cooper Jason Merritt/WireImage

    This just in: Anderson Cooper is about to be feted by GLAAD.

    The gay rights organization plans to honor the vaunted CNN journalist with its Vito Russo Award at the 24th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in New York on March 16.

    The accolade is given to an openly gay, lesbian or transgender media figure that has made a significant difference in promoting equality. And GLAAD just announced today that none other than Madonna will present Cooper with the award.

    Anderson Cooper comes out: "The fact is, I'm gay"

    Cooper, who came out last July, has been a longtime advocate for the LGBT community, having covered such vital issues on Anderson Cooper 360° including bullying of LGBT youth and families supporting their transgender children.

    "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," said GLAAD president Herndon Graddick in a statement.

    "Madonna has been a passionate spokesperson and longtime supporter of gay rights," he added about the award's presenter. "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."    

    Good Morning America anchors Sam Champion, Josh Elliott and Lara Spencer have been tapped to host the ceremony.

    Originally published on Feb. 21, 2013 at 8:08 a.m.

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