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Mind Openers: It's Personal

Cooper hopes to inspire other journalists, just like Daniel Pearl inspired him.


By Bethania Palma Markus

Published Apr 1, 2009 9:58 AM


When UCLA computer science Professor Judea Pearl, a Bruin faculty member for four decades, invited CNN anchor Anderson Cooper to speak in Westwood, the response was surprisingly personal.

Cooper told the Bruin scholar that a picture of Pearl's son, slain Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, rests in his office and inspires him daily. This spring, the host of Anderson Cooper 360˚ will give the next Daniel Pearl Memorial Lecture in Journalism and International Relations, an ongoing lecture series from the Daniel Pearl Foundation in partnership with the university's Burkle Center for International Relations and UCLA Hillel.

Cooper's résumé includes his famous coverage of Hurricane Katrina, plus Afghanistan, Iraq and the tsunami in Southeast Asia.

In 2002, Daniel Pearl was the Journal's South Asia bureau chief, awaiting the birth of his first child, when tragedy struck. On his way to what he thought would be an interview in Karachi, Pakistan, he was abducted and murdered by a militant Pakistani nationalist group. Pearl's videotaped decapitation stunned the world.

"By inspiring Cooper, and Cooper inspiring other journalists, and other journalists inspiring readers, students and decision-makers, Danny's spirit keeps on working out there. And who knows, one day it might just restore our planet to an orbit of sanity," says Pearl.

The Daniel Pearl Memorial Lecture in Journalism and International Relations: Anderson Cooper. Sunday, May 17, 5 p.m., Ackerman Grand Ballroom. Free on a first-come, first-serve basis, standing room only, UPDATE: The event is almost full; limited remaining seats can be obtained by standing in line on the day of the event; doors open at 4:15 p.m. For more information, call (310) 206-6365 or visit

Read about Cooper's talk.