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Cooper was born in McKeesport, Pennsylvania. Cooper graduated from Utah State University in 1967 with a bachelors degree in business administration. From 1971 to 1994 he was the owner of Sublette Electric.
Cooper first entered politics when he was elected to the Kemmerer City Council, starting his time in that body in 1982. He served there until 1988. From 1995 to 2002 Cooper was a county commissioner in Lincoln County, Wyoming. From 2003 to 2004 he served as a member of the Wyoming State House, and from the beginning of 2005 to the present has been in the Wyoming State Senate.
Cooper is a Latter-day Saint. He and his wife Julie are the parents of five children.