Anderson Cooper Delivers a Moving Farewell to His Late Mother, Gloria Vanderbilt
On Monday, Gloria Vanderbilt passed away after struggling with cancer. Her son, CNN's Anderson Cooper, recently delivered a moving farewell and tribute to her.
On Thursday night’s episode of AC360 Anderson Cooper, 52, gave his first on-air statement about the passing of his mother Gloria Vanderbilt, 95. She died after battling an advanced stomach cancer diagnosis which was revealed on June 8.
In his tribute to his mother, Cooper’s voice could be heard trembling as he shared his memories. The journalist shared: "I never realized how much she was my north star as well."
Anderson Cooper was unbelievably eloquent in his closing remarks tonight about his mom. Every mother would want nothing more than a tribute like this from her son. @AC360— Elizabeth Vargas (@EVargasTV) June 21, 2019
He confessed: "Right now, things seem a lot less bright and magical without her." Before sharing the heartbreaking truth that he had now lost all of his immediate family, Cooper took a long emotional pause.
He then stated:
"My dad died when I was 10, and my brother when I was 21. She was the last of my immediate family. The last person who knew me from the beginning. They're all gone and it feels very lonely right now. I hope they are at least together."
CNN also honored his mother by releasing an eight-minute tribute video which Cooper narrated. The journalist described his mother as “an extraordinary woman, who loved life, and lived it on her own terms.”
He also revealed:
“She was a painter, a writer, and designer but also a remarkable mother, wife, and friend. She was 95 years old, but ask anyone close to her, and they'd tell you: She was the youngest person they knew — the coolest and most modern."
Cooper described the moment she passed away saying: “I was holding her hand and her head when she took her last breath. It's still a little hard for me to believe she's gone." He also played one her favorite songs, a Peggy Lee rendition of “Is That All There Is?”
Vanderbilt became a celebrity when she was quite young by being the heir to a railroad fortune. On the day of her passing, Cooper revealed that she’d tried to avoid the media when she was a teenager and wanted to make a name for herself.
She started by modeling then went into acting before becoming a fashion icon. The late star married four times in her life, with the first husband being agent Pat DiCiccio.
Husband number two was famed conductor Leopold Stokowski and then director Sidney Lumet. Her fourth husband was Cooper's father, the writer Wyatt Cooper.
"She never let fear or pain or loss prevent her from forging ahead, from moving forward. She always believed the best was yet to come.”@AndersonCooper pays tribute to his mom, Gloria Vanderbilt, who passed away at the age of 95. https://t.co/aKwerHuU9p pic.twitter.com/7EGIDbq5vq— Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) June 21, 2019
In 1978, he died during open heart surgery. And in 1998, Carter Vanderbilt Cooper, the journalist’s older brother, passed away after he committed suicide.
An HBO documentary called “Nothing Left Unsaid: Gloria Vanderbilt & Anderson Cooper” was focused on the journalist’s relationship with his mother. The pair also published a joint memoir titled “The Rainbow Comes and Goes: A Mother and Son on Life, Love, and Loss.”
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In the end, after all else is stripped away, there is only love. My mom believed in love more than anyone. It was her guide, her solace, it’s what drove her, and in her final moments, it is what surrounded her. “i love you, you know that,” she would say to me, and i did, i knew it from the moment i was born, and i will know it till the moment i die. It was her greatest gift to me.
One photo showed them holding each other’s hands in her final days.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. Other international suicide helplines can be found at befrienders.org.