RALEIGH, N.C. — Gov. Roy Cooper joins Senior Political Reporter Loretta Boniti for a candid conversation on his life and upbringing.
Cooper, born and raised in North Carolina, says some of his earliest memories are from being at his family farm with his father.
“Even as a very young child my father would take me out to the farm,” Cooper says. “We would walk the fields and along the river. He would show me places that he went fishing as a child. I even remember one time I was very very little, sitting on the bank of the river with my fishing pole, and sliding into the water. And I have vivid memories of my dad pulling me back out of the water. It is sort of emblematic of my dad, he was always there when I needed him, and he was a real inspiration. Both my mom and dad were real inspirations to me.”
After being raised in Nash County, Cooper got a law degree from UNC Chapel Hill and joined a law practice with his father. While he was still in his 20s, he decided to take on a longtime incumbent state lawmaker and gain his seat in the General Assembly. Since then, he has been in elected life, going from the legislature, to attorney general, to governor for the past four years.
“Today, I like the public policy a lot more than the politics part of it,” he says. “I like the meeting people and hearing what people are going through, but what I really like is implementing public policy and to do things for good. And you've got to go through the politics part of it to have an effect on the public policy.”
The Coopers, Roy and Kristin, met while he was serving in the legislature. Today, they have three grown children, the youngest just graduating from college this year.
For Kristin, she says even with as long as her husband has been in public life for, there are still things that people don't know about him.
"I don't think most people know how funny he is. He kind of has a serious and a straitlaced, and most of what he does is very serious, and it's very business-like, and that's what people see," Kristin Cooper says. "But he's got, you know, he's got an insane sense of humor. He's got the dad jokes, and he's also really funny. You're not married for 30 years without finding ways you can laugh at things."
Watch the link above to learn more about what made Cooper the man he is today.
Cooper is seeking his second term as governor. He is a democrat.