May 14, 1840, New York City.
Cooper was son of John and Hepzibah Cooper, and husband of Mary E. Tyson.
He studied law in the office of future American president Chester A. Arthur. After admittance to the bar, though, he never practiced law to any extent.
Cooper contributed poems to The Round Table, The Saturday Press, Putnam’s Magazine, The Atlantic Monthly, Appleton’s Journal, The Independent, Harper’s Young People, St. Nicholas, and many other periodicals.
Cooper wrote a number of popular ballads, many set to music by Stephen Foster. Some of his better known songs are Beautiful Isle of the Sea, Sweet Genevieve (sung by John Wayne in the 1948 film Fort Apache), Mother Kissed Me in My Dream and Must We Then Meet as Strangers? Cooper also translated the lyrics of German, Russian, Italian, Spanish, and French musical works into English. His other works include: