Sometimes when you ask a man who grew up without a father about his dad, he will immediately talk about his mother. He’ll talk about her strength and her sacrifice in having to play both roles. Sometimes he’ll even say that she was so good at it, that he didn’t know what he was missing.
Not Anderson Cooper. In his 2006 book, Dispatches from the Edge, he wrote:
“Sometimes I wonder if I’m the person I was born to be, if the life I’ve lived really is the one I was meant to, or if it is some half life, a mutation engineered by loss, cobbled together by the will to survive.”
Yesterday, on his new daytime television talk show, he interviewed his 87 year old mother, Gloria Vanderbilt. Now, apart from his infectious giggle, this serious news anchor is usually pretty composed. What brought tears to his eyes on this day were memories of his father, who died when he was 10, and specifically, his mother telling him his dad would have been so proud of the man he became and his accomplishments.
The interview also covers the suicide of his brother.
Some people like to criticize Mr. Cooper for aspects of his personal life he doesn’t talk about but I think it’s more important that he has never shied away from discussing his father and brother and the impact their loss has had on his life. It takes courage but it helps others in immeasurable ways to use your public platform for the good.
Watch the show here.