Sam Champion: Anderson Cooper Inspired Me to Come Out, Announce Engagement

Sam Champion, Anderson Cooper Charles Norfleet/FilmMagic; Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images

Sam Champion is happily planning his upcoming nuptials to boyfriend Rubem Robierb with the support of legions of Good Morning America fans, and the weather anchor has Anderson Cooper to thank for inspiring him to confirm that he is gay alongside his happy engagement news.

"It's not easy," Champion — who announced his plans to marry October 5 — told The New York Daily News. "So whenever anyone does do it, it makes it easier for everybody, just a little bit."

Champion, 51, tells The News he was moved to make his sexuality publicly known when Anderson Live and AC360 host Cooper, 45, announced he was gay. "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," Gloria Vanderbilt's son wrote in an email to longtime friend and political blogger Andrew Sullivan, who later published the email — with Cooper's permission — on The Daily Beast's website in July.

No doubt enjoying the love and support from his colleagues and fans in the wake of his happy news, Champion tells The News it was not his intention to make headlines. "What I do for a living is, I work in the news business, and we talk about other people and other people's lives," he said.

Introduced by mutual friends a few years ago in Miami, Champion and photographer Robierb, who is 15 years his junior, told The New York Times they intend to marry on New Year's Eve in the city where they first met.

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