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Anderson Cooper Still Mourns Late Brother Carter Daily after 33 Years

Junie Sihlangu
Sep 20, 2021
04:50 A.M.
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Anderson Cooper’s older brother, Carter, died by suicide in the 1980s, and the CNN anchor still hasn’t gotten over his death. The star confessed how the death had affected his life.

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Anderson Cooper, 54, sadly lost his brother, Carter Vanderbilt Cooper, 33 years ago in 1988. Speaking recently to People magazine, the star revealed how losing his brother at a younger age changed his life’s trajectory.

Carter’s death at the time was ruled a suicide. He passed on at their mother, Gloria Vanderbilt's Manhattan apartment, after jumping off the fourteenth-floor terrace wall at age 23.

Gloria Vanderbilt and her two sons, Carter Vanderbilt Cooper and Anderson Cooper in New York in March 1976 | Photo: Susan Wood/Getty Images

Gloria Vanderbilt and her two sons, Carter Vanderbilt Cooper and Anderson Cooper in New York in March 1976 | Photo: Susan Wood/Getty Images

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His death was a double blow to the family since it occurred ten years after their father, Wyatt Emory Cooper, died. Anderson struggled with having lived longer without his brother than he had with him, adding:

“There's not a day that goes by that I don't think about what he would be doing…”

Gloria Vanderbilt poses for a portrait session with her sons Anderson Cooper (L) and Carter Vanderbilt Cooper (R) in their home in circa 1969 in Southampton, Long Island, New York | Photo: Jack Robinson/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Gloria Vanderbilt poses for a portrait session with her sons Anderson Cooper (L) and Carter Vanderbilt Cooper (R) in their home in circa 1969 in Southampton, Long Island, New York | Photo: Jack Robinson/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

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The television personality also confessed that he often wondered who Carter would’ve been if he hadn’t died. He admitted to the publication that he still thought about his brother’s death and questioned it.

He also said his mother, until her death in 2019, also found it difficult to come into terms with Carter's death. He revealed they were both still stunned till the day she died. The star confessed that he had to find a way to carry on living even though there were things that had gone unanswered.

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The news anchor has suffered great losses in his life and has lost all his immediate family members. Despite all the tragedy he’s experienced, he went on to start his own family.

Raising his [Anderson Cooper] son [Wyatt Cooper] has made him more aware of the connection he has to his loved ones.

Anderson has a son, Wyatt, now-16-months-old who was born via surrogate and is co-parented by the star and his ex-boyfriend, Benjamin Maisani, 48.

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The anchor has since written a book titled “Vanderbilt: The Rise and Fall of an American Dynasty,” which he said was his letter to his son. In the book, he tackles the story of how his ancestors were rich and lost it all.

Wyatt’s birth was the inspiration he needed to write about his family's history after spending years knowing little about the Vanderbilt dynasty. The book, co-written by Katherine Howe, will be out on September 21, 2021.

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Anderson also told People that he “definitely” wanted to have more children and thought it would be nice for his son to have a sibling. Raising his son has made him more aware of the connection he has to his loved ones.

He realized that Wyatt looked a lot like Carter, who happened to have a likeness to their mother. The journalist found it extraordinary that he felt connected to the people in his life who were gone and to the past.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. Other international suicide helplines can be found at befrienders.org.

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