Cooper Manning, 45, is famous for being the older brother of Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks Peyton Manning, 43, and Eli Manning, 38. But Cooper is so much more than just the “other” Manning brother. Cooper is a father of three, a successful businessman — as the Principal and Senior Managing Director of Investor Relations for AJ Capital Partners — and a rising star in sports journalism and comedy. Here’s what you need to know about one of the coolest big brothers ever:
1. The original Odell Beckham Jr.
Cooper was a 6'4" All-State wide receiver at Isidore Newman High School in New Orleans, putting up school-record numbers with then-sophomore Peyton as his QB during his senior season in 1991, when the Greenies advanced to the state semifinals for only the second time in school history. Cooper wore No. 18 — father Archie’s retired Ole Miss number — as did Peyton (after Cooper graduated) and Eli. After Cooper, Newman HS did not have another 1,000-yard receiver until Odell Beckham Jr., who is now the go-to wideout for Eli with the New York Giants. Cooper also won two state championships as a basketball player at Newman, teaming with LSU star and NBA alum Randy Livingston.
2. Quit football due to spinal stenosis
After signing a scholarship to play football at Ole Miss, Cooper noticed atrophy in his right arm. As an 18-year-old, he was diagnosed with spinal stenosis, “a narrowing of the spaces within your spine, which can put pressure on the nerves that travel through the spine,” according to the Mayo Clinic. Cooper required two surgeries, the second of which involved complications with a blood clot near his spinal cord. The condition effectively ended his football career and forced him to learn to walk again.
3. Hosts “Manning Hour” on FOX NFL Kickoff
Although both Peyton and Eli have made star turns hosting Saturday Night Live, Cooper is the real comedian in the Manning family. His #ManningHour (minus 58 minutes) on FOX NFL Kickoff is some of the best sports comedy on TV. A broadcast journalism major at Ole Miss, Cooper has interviewed Peyton, Beckham, Drew Brees, Dak Prescott, fans in London, and numerous other sports personalities.
4. Father of the next Manning QB
Cooper married his wife Ellen in 1999 and the couple has three children, May (born 2002), Arch (2004) and Heid (2006). Recently, all eyes have turned to Arch Manning, who is named after his grandfather Archie. The latest Manning QB prospect led Isidore Newman’s middle school team to a championship, tossing three TDs in the title game. Although only in eighth grade, every scout in SEC country is already aware of the third generation of Manning passers.
5. Was on The Simpsons with Peyton and Eli
Cooper was immortalized along with Peyton and Eli on The Simpsons episode “O'Brother, Where Bart Thou?” on Dec. 13, 2009. The trio appear in a dream sequence along with other sets of famous brothers — including the Wright Brothers, Marx Brothers and even Mario Brothers. In the end, Peyton and Eli play a game of “Keep Away from Cooper” before Bart Simpson wakes up. In the episode, Cooper is wearing a green No. 18 jersey, just like he did during his playing days at Newman.