News anchor, talking head, and TV personality Anderson Cooper made himself famous as one of the main faces on CNN’s news broadcasts. Cooper, like all news anchors, maintains an air of professionalism throughout all of his on and off-air appearances, but what about the more personal side of Cooper, like does he have any siblings for example?
Anderson Cooper has 3 siblings, one brother, and two half brothers. Sadly, Cooper’s brother Carter is no longer alive, having committed suicide in 1988 at the age of 23 years old, a story that Cooper rarely speaks about.
Cooper always upholds an aloof and distant demeanor during his news segments, which is fitting with a job that demands a certain level of neutrality, so it’s not particularly strange that he never mentions his family.
Outside of his hosting on CNN, however, we can see the more human side of Cooper, away from the machine-like workings of the media and the stringent requirements it puts on its hosts.
A Quick Overview of Cooper’s Family
Born in 1967 in Manhattan, the New York City native was not the first child of Wyatt Cooper and his wife Gloria Vanderbilt. That honor belonged to older brother Carter, who was just two years older than Anderson, though the two also had a pair of older half-brothers from a previous marriage.
Wyatt, aside from being the father to the two Cooper boys, was also a fairly accomplished author, screenwriter, and actor. Just like his son Anderson would be, Wyatt was no stranger to being in front of a camera, with a little over five features on a variety of television shows.
His mother, Gloria Vanderbilt, is the side of the family that Anderson’s half-brothers are from, the children of her second marriage. She was a well-respected fashion designer who also had a creative flair for writing and art, showcasing her oil paintings, watercolors, and pastels on more than one occasion.
Her second marriage was to renowned English conductor Leopold Stokowski, to whom she was married for a total of 10 years. Out of the four marriages she had, it was only with Stokowski and Cooper that she had children, two sons with each.
So, what of Anderson Cooper’s four siblings? Who exactly are they and how close is he with them?
Families and the relationships within them can often be painful or complicated, and Cooper’s family is no different, having its fair share of struggle and hardship. These kinds of problems are commonly exacerbated by growing up around the kind of wealth, fame, and prestige that the Vanderbilt name attracted.
The Tragedy of Carter Cooper
The second of the Cooper-Vanderbilt children, Carter Cooper, was the eldest of the two siblings that were the product of that marriage. Both brothers sounded like they were incredibly close with their mother and father, with the family operating as a tight-knit group.
That reality makes what befell them even more of a catastrophe. When Anderson was only 10 years old, still a child, the family lost their father during a heart-surgery, where he had the misfortune of suffering from multiple heart attacks that took his life.
When Anderson speaks of the event and the subsequent years, he gives us a picture of a young boy more concerned with survival than simply being a child. Foremost on his mind was the protection of his mother and brother, clearly placing an enormous amount of value on the bond that they all share.
The effects of such deeply scarring memories in your life can often be cataclysmic, setting into motion a series of events that can take even decades to transpire. In the case of Anderson’s father, both siblings and his wife regarded him as being the glue that held the family together.
Without him, a gaping hole was left in their lives, one that caused Carter so much pain that it would eventually lead him down a path of depression, ending in him taking his own life. Despite his closeness with other members of his family, Carter was unable to be persuaded from his course of action, and on July 22nd, 1988 he committed suicide.
It was multiple decades ago, but Anderson has often commented that he thinks about his brother every day. At least, in the midst of all the tragedy, the three remaining siblings and their mother still had each other.