Anderson Cooper: I Don't Want My Kids to See My Sadness

CNN host dives deep into his personal losses and grief in interview with 'New York Times'
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 10, 2023 3:05 PM CDT
Anderson Cooper: My Grief 'Made Me the Person I Am Today'
Anderson Cooper is seen at "CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute" at the American Museum of Natural History on Dec. 8, 2019, in New York.   (Photo by Jason Mendez/Invision/AP, File)

If anyone understands grief, it's Anderson Cooper. The 56-year-old CNN anchor lost his father, Wyatt, when he was 10 to a heart attack, then his older brother, Carter, to suicide when they were both in their 20s. His mother, Gloria Vanderbilt, died in 2019 at the age of 95. Still, in a wide-ranging interview with David Marchese for the New York Times, the Anderson Cooper 360º host says the career he now enjoys, in which he often has to talk with people experiencing their own pain, wouldn't have come to fruition without those struggles. "It made me the person I am today," he says. "I'm blessed to be in the position I'm in." He adds that although he wishes his father and brother were still here to celebrate his successes with him, "I don't know who I would be if they were still alive."

Cooper also admits that he didn't adequately deal with his own grief for decades, and that it was only relatively recently when he realized, "Holy [expletive], I'm still this 10-year-old kid" trying to process it all. Now, however, partly thanks to his podcast All There Is With Anderson Cooper, which deals with his losses, the veteran broadcaster is trying to be more vulnerable, especially now that he's a dad to two young boys himself. "I don't know exactly how to do that, but that's what I'm looking to learn," he tells Marchese. "I used to see this sadness behind my mom's eyes. I want my kids to not see that behind my eyes. I don't want it to be behind my eyes anymore." More of his interview is here, including his thoughts on former CNN chief Chris Licht, today's TV news, and why he doesn't find his sexuality a "particularly interesting" topic to talk about. (More Anderson Cooper stories.)

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