Anderson Cooper, Kelly Ripa to Co-Host 10th Anniversary of CNN Heroes

By A.J. Katz 

The dynamic duo of Anderson Cooper and Kelly Ripa will join forces to co-host The 10th Annual CNN Heroes: An All Star Tribute on Sunday, December 11 at 8 p.m. ET. CNN will broadcast the ceremony live from the American Museum of Natural History in New York. This is the first time that the duo will co-host the event, which celebrates individuals who make notable contributions that improve the lives of others. Cooper has been a frequent guest co-host on ABC’s LIVE with Kelly this year, but was removed from contention for the permanent co-host gig after signing a new long term deal with CNN earlier this month.

The 2016 Top 10 Heroes were revealed this morning by Cooper on CNN’s New Day.

“After 10 years, and nearly 300 Heroes, we are so grateful to continue honoring those making such an impact in their communities, and to help them continue their work,” said Kelly Flynn, creator and senior executive producer of CNN Heroes. “This year, we are thrilled to broadcast live around the world, and welcome the addition of Kelly Ripa – a three-time CNN Heroes presenter – as co-host.  Her passion and expertise, coupled with the on-stage chemistry she and Anderson share will surely help create an unforgettable evening.”


Each hero will receive a $10,000 cash prize. One of the 10 will be named “CNN Hero of the Year,” and receive an additional $100,000 to further his or her cause. Beginning today, one can vote for the “CNN Hero of the Year” via email, Facebook Messenger and Twitter every day through Tuesday, December 6th at midnight PT.


The 2016 Top 10 Honorees are:

  • Jeison Aristizábal (Cali, Colombia) Aristizábal’s nonprofit, ASODISVALLE, provides a range of free services that have helped transform the lives of nearly 3,000 young people with disabilities.
  • Craig Dodson (Richmond, VA) Former semi-pro cyclist Dodson started a nonprofit cycling program, Richmond Cycling Corps, where he coaches and mentors at-risk youth living in the city’s public housing.
  • Sherri Franklin (San Francisco, CA) Muttville, the nonprofit Franklin started in 2007, has rescued, cared for and found ‘forever homes’ for nearly 4,000 senior dogs.
  • Brad Ludden (Whitefish, MT) In 2001, professional kayaker Ludden started First Descents, a nonprofit that brings life-changing outdoor adventure experiences to young adult cancer fighters and survivors.
  • Luma Mufleh (Clarkston, GA) Mufleh, a Jordanian immigrant, and her nonprofit, Fugees Family, have helped more than 800 war-weary young refugees adapt to American life through a specially-tailored education and soccer program.
  • Umra Omar (Lamu, Kenya) Omar and her group, Safari Doctors, bring free healthcare to thousands of people living in remote, and at times dangerous, areas of her native Kenya.
  • Georgie Smith (Los Angeles, CA) Smith and her group, A Sense of Home, have furnished homes and provided a sense of community for more than 100 young people who have aged out of foster care.
  • Sheldon Smith (Chicago, IL) Since 2010, Smith’s nonprofit, the Dovetail Project, has addressed the issue of absentee fathers. He’s helped more than 200 young dads in Chicago build stronger families by giving them the skills to be positive role models and responsible parents.
  • Becca Stevens (Nashville, TN) Stevens has dedicated her life to helping women escape prostitution, addiction and trafficking. Through her nonprofit, Thistle Farms, more than 200 women have transformed their lives.
  • Harry Swimmer (Weddington, NC) For 20 years, Harry Swimmer and his nonprofit, Mitey Riders, have introduced hundreds of children with disabilities to the healing power of horses at his farm near Charlotte.

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