David Cooper attended public schools in Lynchburg, Virginia. He earned an A.B. degree in Biological and Medical Sciences from Brown University. At UNC-Chapel Hill he received Master’s and Doctoral degrees in Special Education, taught in the Alamance-Burlington School System, and was a research fellow at the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Center. Cooper served for 25 years on the faculty in Education at the University of Maryland. He was a Professor of Education and Dean of Education at Elon University, and retired in 2016.