[koo-per, koop-er]
Cooper, Alexander: see under Cooper, Samuel.
Cooper, Alfred Duff, 1st Viscount Norwich of Aldwick, 1890-1954, British statesman and diplomat. Elected to Parliament as a Conservative (Unionist) in 1924, he served as secretary of state for war (1935-37) in the coalition cabinet and was first lord of the admiralty in 1938 when he resigned in protest against the Munich Pact. He returned to the cabinet as minister of information (1940-41) under Winston Churchill. Appointed resident minister of Far Eastern affairs in Singapore in Dec., 1941, he was recalled the following month, shortly before Singapore fell to the Japanese. From 1944 to 1947 he served as ambassador to France. He was raised to the peerage in 1952. Among his writings is an autobiography, Old Men Forget (1953).
Cooper, Gary, 1901-61, American film actor, b. Helena, Mont., as Frank James Cooper. His first important starring role in A Farewell to Arms (1933) was followed by such films as Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936), Pride of the Yankees (1942), For Whom the Bell Tolls (1943), and Saratoga Trunk (1944). Best known to his public as the shy, lanky man of the West, he won Academy Awards for his performances in Sergeant York (1941) and High Noon (1952), in which his portrayal of the strong, silent sheriff became emblematic of the Western hero. His later films include Vera Cruz (1954), Friendly Persuasion (1956), and They Came to Cordura (1959).

See biography by J. Meyers (1998).

Cooper, James Fenimore, 1789-1851, American novelist, b. Burlington, N.J., as James Cooper. He was the first important American writer to draw on the subjects and landscape of his native land in order to create a vivid myth of frontier life.

In 1790 Cooper's family moved to Cooperstown, N.Y., a frontier settlement founded by his father near Otsego Lake. The landscape and history of the area was to greatly influence many of his most famous works. Sent to Yale at 13, Cooper was dismissed for a disciplinary reason in his third year. Soon after he went to sea; commissioned as a U.S. midshipman, he served until 1811, at which time he married and settled into life as a gentleman farmer.

Cooper's literary career, which covers a period of 30 years and includes more than 50 publications, began in 1820 with the appearance of Precaution. Imitative of the English novel of manners, this book failed to gain an audience; but his next work, The Spy (1821), a patriotic story of the American Revolution, was an immediate success. With The Pioneers (1823), the first of the famous Leatherstocking Tales, and The Pilot (1823), an adventure of the high seas, Cooper's reputation as the first major American novelist was established.

In 1826 Cooper went to France, nominally as American consul at Lyons. He spent several years abroad, publishing such novels as The Red Rover (1827), The Wept of Wish-ton-Wish (1829), and The Water-Witch (1830), romances of American life on land and sea. In Notions of the Americans (1828) he defended his country to European critics; but upon his return home, repelled by what he saw as the abuses of American democracy, Cooper became the staunch social critic of American society. Such works as The American Democrat (1838) and the fictional Homeward Bound and its sequel, Home as Found (both 1838), express the conservative, aristocratic social views that made him quite unpopular; his later life was filled with many quarrels and lawsuits over his works.

In his most important novels, the group comprising the Leatherstocking Tales—which in order of the narrative are The Deerslayer (1841), The Last of the Mohicans (1826), The Pathfinder (1840), The Pioneers (1823), and The Prairie (1827)—Cooper skillfully dramatized the clash between the frontier wilderness and the encroaching civilization. Named for their chief character, the forthright frontiersman Natty Bumppo, nicknamed Leatherstocking, the Leatherstocking Tales are notable for their descriptive power, their mastery of native background, and their romanticized portrayal of the Native American.

Cooper's later works include the novels Afloat and Ashore and its sequel, Miles Wallingford (both 1844), and the Littlepage trilogy—Satanstoe (1845), The Chainbearer (1845), and The Redskins (1846)—a study of the conflict between the landholding and the propertyless classes in New York state, in which Cooper shows himself a traditional defender of the rights of property.

Cooper has been criticized for his extravagant plots, his conventional characters, and his stilted dialogue. Nevertheless, he remains the first great American novelist, a vital and original writer of romances of the wilderness and of the sea, and a harshly astute critic of the growing and stumbling American democracy.


See his correspondence (ed. by his grandson, J. F. Cooper, 2 vol., 1922, repr. 1971); biographical and critical studies by R. E. Spiller (1931, repr. 1963), T. R. Lounsbury (1882, repr. 1968), J. P. McWilliams, Jr. (1972), S. Railton (1978), W. Franklin (1982), and W. P. Kelly (1984); bibliography by R. E. Spiller and P. C. Blackburn (1934, repr. 1969).

Cooper, Leon Neil, 1930-, American neuroscientist, b. New York City, Ph.D. Columbia, 1954. Cooper was a researcher at the Univ. of Illinois from 1955 to 1957 and at Ohio State Univ. from 1957 to 1958, when he joined the faculty at Brown, where he is now director of the Institute for Brain and Neural Systems. Cooper, John Bardeen, and John Schrieffer were awarded the 1972 Nobel Prize in Physics for their jointly developed theory of superconductivity, now known as the BCS Theory. Although superconductivity was first described by Dutch physicist Heike Kamerlingh Onnes in 1911, its underlying mechanism was not understood until the three scientists provided a complete theoretical explanation of the phenomenon in 1957.
Cooper, Myles, 1737?-1785, 2d president of King's College (now Columbia Univ.), b. England, educated at Oxford. He was ordained a priest in 1761 and went to King's College (1762) as professor of moral philosophy and assistant to the president. In 1763 he was made president, succeeding Samuel Johnson. Although his early administration was marked by the founding of a grammar school, a medical school, and a hospital, with changes in the curriculum and great increase in prestige, the college experienced hardships during the American Revolution. Cooper was an active and vocal Loyalist, and in 1775 he was forced to flee before the patriots' hatred to a British warship in New York harbor. He returned to Oxford and lived out his life in England.
Cooper, Peter, 1791-1883, American inventor, industrialist, and philanthropist, b. New York City. After achieving success in the glue business, Cooper, with two partners, erected (1829) the Canton Iron Works in Baltimore. There he constructed the Tom Thumb, one of the earliest locomotives built in the United States. His success in trials on the Baltimore & Ohio RR probably saved that pioneer line from bankruptcy. During the next 20 years, Cooper expanded his holdings, becoming a leader in the American iron industry, and in 1870 he was awarded the Bessemer gold medal for rolling the first iron for fireproof buildings. Cooper invented and patented other practical devices and processes. His faith in the success of the Atlantic cable led him to invest heavily in the New York, Newfoundland, and London Telegraph Company after banks refused to finance the operation. He was president of this company for 20 years while he headed the North American Telegraph Company, which controlled more than half of the telegraph lines in the country. An outstanding leader in the civic affairs of New York City, Cooper led the successful fight to secure a public school system and did much to improve several of the municipal departments. His lasting monument is Cooper Union in New York City, built after his own plans to provide for education for the working classes. He supported the Greenback party in national politics, and in 1876 he was the party's presidential candidate, polling over 80,000 votes. Many of his addresses were collected in Ideas for a Science of Good Government (1883, repr. 1971). Abram S. Hewitt was his son-in-law, Peter Cooper Hewitt his grandson.

See biographies by R. W. Raymond (1901), A. Nevins (1935, repr. 1967), and E. C. Mack (1949).

Cooper, Samuel, 1609-72, one of the greatest English miniaturists. A student of Hoskins, he worked in London from c.1642. He painted portraits of numerous celebrated Englishmen. His draftsmanship and unusual use of lighting made his vellum-on-card head-and-shoulder paintings remarkable. Specimens of his work are to be found at Windsor Castle; in the collections of the duke of Buccleuch and the duke of Devonshire (the latter containing the famous portrait of Cromwell familiar through engravings); in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; in the Rijks Museum; and in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. His brother, Alexander Cooper, d. 1660, was for many years miniature painter at the court of Queen Christina of Sweden.
Cooper, Thomas, 1759-1839, American scientist, educator, and political philosopher, b. London, educated at Oxford. His important works include Political Essays (1799); the appendixes to the Memoirs of Dr. Joseph Priestley (2 vol., 1806), in which he reviews Priestley's life and works at length; Lectures on the Elements of Political Economy (1826); Treatise on the Law of Libel (1830); and (as editor) The Statutes at Large of South Carolina (5 vol., 1836-39). Cooper emigrated to the United States in 1794 and, settling near his friend Joseph Priestley in Northumberland, Pa., was his partner in scientific research. As a supporter of the Jeffersonian opposition to the Federalists, he wrote many political pamphlets, especially against the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798. Convicted under the acts, he was imprisoned and fined $400; after his death this fine was repaid to his heirs. He taught at Dickinson College and the Univ. of Pennsylvania and was president (1820-33) of South Carolina College (now the Univ. of South Carolina).

See D. Malone, The Public Life of Thomas Cooper (1926); J. N. Ireland, A Memoir of the Professional Life of Thomas Abthorpe Cooper (repr. 1970).

Cooper is a town in Washington County, Maine, United States. The population was 145 at the 2000 census.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 32.9 square miles (85.2 km²), of which, 31.1 square miles (80.6 km²) of it is land and 1.8 square miles (4.6 km²) of it (5.44%) is water.


As of the census of 2000, there were 145 people, 56 households, and 42 families residing in the town. The population density was 4.7 people per square mile (1.8/km²). There were 160 housing units at an average density of 5.1/sq mi (2.0/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 96.55% White, 1.38% African American, 0.69% Asian, and 1.38% from two or more races.

There were 56 households out of which 33.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.7% were married couples living together, 3.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.0% were non-families. 19.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.59 and the average family size was 2.93.

In the town the population was spread out with 24.8% under the age of 18, 6.9% from 18 to 24, 29.0% from 25 to 44, 26.9% from 45 to 64, and 12.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 93.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 105.7 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $33,125, and the median income for a family was $41,042. Males had a median income of $26,563 versus $30,417 for females. The per capita income for the town was $14,353. There were 5.4% of families and 8.8% of the population living below the poverty line, including no under eighteens and 9.5% of those over 64.


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