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OTRC: Anderson Cooper to receive GLAAD award presented by Madonna

Anderson Cooper and Madonna appear during her interview on 'Anderson' in April 2012. (Anderson)

Anderson Cooper will receive the Vito Russo Award at the 24th annual GLAAD Media Awards on March 16, The Associated Press reports.

The award will be presented to Cooper by Madonna at the ceremony in New York City. GLAAD President Herndon Graddick told the wire service that Cooper and Madonna are longtime friends. Both Cooper and Madonna can be seen in the photo above, which was taken in April 2012 when Madonna appeared on Cooper's talk show.

The award Cooper is set to receive is named after Vito Russo, who helped found GLAAD and wrote a book about gay people in the movies called "The Celluloid Closet."

Cooper came out as a gay man in July 2012. The 45-year-old veteran news reporter, who hosts the CNN show "Anderson Cooper 360" and his own syndicated talk series, "Anderson," revealed the news in a letter to The Daily Beast. Cooper previously had never publicly confirmed or denied his sexuality.

"It's become clear to me that by remaining silent on certain aspects of my personal life for so long, I have given some the mistaken impression that I am trying to hide something - something that makes me uncomfortable, ashamed or even afraid. This is distressing because it is simply not true."

Graddick said in a statement on February 21 about Cooper receiving the award, "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."

He added, "He continues to raise the bar and set a new standard for journalists everywhere, and I'm proud to call him a friend."

According to GLAAD, the Vito Russo Award is given to "an openly lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender media professional who has made a significant difference in promoting equality." Ricky Martin, Rosie O'Donnell, and Elton John have all won the award in the past.

"Good Morning America" co-anchors Sam Champion, Josh Elliott and Laura Spencer are set to host the show. Champion is also openly gay and married Rubem Robierb in New York City on December 21.

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