Anderson Cooper Still Can't Get Over The Pain Of Losing His Brother: "I Think About Him Every Day"

Date February 19, 2019

Anderson Cooper, arguably the best-known face of CNN, is one of the most popular American journalists. He’s handsome, successful, and well-loved by many – what’s more to wish for?


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He looks calm and confident when you see him on TV, but the pain from an unspeakable family tragedy that happened three decades ago still haunts him.


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Anderson had an older brother, Carter Cooper. In 1988, when Anderson was only 21, Carter took his own life by jumping from their mother’s 14th-floor terrace. It was so inexplicable and sudden his family still wonders why he did it.


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Anderson opened up about his grief

For Anderson, the hurt of losing his sibling in such a terrible manner never went away. A few years ago, the host spoke to Howard Stern about his thoughts and feelings following his brother’s tragic passing.


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Anderson’s older brother was someone he admired and looked up to. That made it even harder for Anderson to wrap his head around what happened. He said:

[Carter] was so much smarter than me, he had gone to Princeton, he was working at American Heritage as a book editor, and it was so inconceivable to me.


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Losing your sibling to suicide isn’t something you can ever get over, and Anderson admitted he still thinks about his brother every day:

It forms everything. It may not be the first thing [I think of in the morning], but there’s not a day goes by that I don’t think about it.


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The tragedy had Anderson wondering if he might also have dark predispositions, but he eventually stopped thinking about it, he told Howard Stern.

The host has come to accept the fact that he and his family will never have an explanation. He told Howard:

With suicide, we like to think that it’s this clear thing, and it’s not – and that’s the horrible thing about suicide. The family members are left for their entire lives wondering why. Sometimes there isn’t any why.


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On the 30th anniversary of the tragedy, Anderson remembered Carter in a post on Instagram, with a heartfelt message in the caption:

30 years ago today, my brother, Carter Cooper, died by suicide. He was 23 years old. I miss him, and think about him every day. The shock of his death is as painful today as it was thirty years ago.


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Mother’s memory of a lost son

Anderson and Carter’s mother, Gloria Vanderbilt, remembers that day in 1988 very vividly. That’s because she was there and begged her beloved son not to jump.

She found an outlet for her emotional pain by writing a memoir titled A Mother’s Story (1995).


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On the 30th anniversary of Carter’s passing, Gloria shared her son’s old picture along with the message:

Thirty years ago today, before my eyes, I lost Carter Cooper. My son. My life. My hope. In the years since, his brother, my beloved Anderson, has been by my side, giving me love and strength. Carter is close and alive within me, as he was from the beginning, and as he always will be.


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The U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s number is 1-800-273-TALK [8255]. Save this number in case you or your loved one ever needs it.

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