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Anderson Cooper Opens Up About Losing His Mother, Gloria Vanderbilt

In an interview with Stephen Colbert-who, like Cooper, lost his father at age 10-the news anchor discussed grief and loss.
IMAGE BRAVO / GETTY IMAGES
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Anderson Cooper recently sat down with late night host Stephen Colbert for a wide-ranging interview. During their conversation, the duo reflected in their shared experiences of grief.

Colbert's father and two brothers died in a plane crash when he was only 10 years old—a loss which profoundly shaped him. "There’s another Steve," he said, of the man he might have become, had he not endured that tragedy.

Cooper's father, Wyatt Cooper, also died when he was 10. But more recently, the news anchor has been coping with the recent death of his mother, Gloria Vanderbilt. In his interview with Colbert, he reflected on how his relationship with his mother had been affected by his father's death—and how he felt he needed to protect her, even if looking back, that might not have been the case.

"I always viewed my mom as a space alien who had landed on this planet, and whose ship was immobilized. And I had to protect her and show her how to live in this world," Cooper said. "And I felt that until the day she died. And now I look back at it and I realize one of mom’s greatest strengths—which as a kid drove me bananas—was despite tragedies and losses, she consciously chose to remain open and vulnerable and optimistic and believing the best in everybody she met."


Cooper also revealed that he's found comfort in hearing about others' experiences of grief. "One of the things I’ve found in the last two months since my mom died, is people coming up to me on the street, or reaching out to me on Instagram, wherever, and sharing their grief," Cooper explained. "I’ve found it to be the most powerful and moving thing. And I kind of oddly don’t want that to stop, because in regular times, people don’t do that."

*This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com

*Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors

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