Anderson Cooper Eulogizes Mom Gloria Vanderbilt: ‘I Knew Her and She Knew Me’

Anchor recounts final moments with his mother in touching on-air tribute Thursday

Last Updated: June 21, 2019 @ 10:54 AM

Anderson Cooper eulogized his mother Gloria Vanderbilt at the end of “AC360” Thursday night, thanking viewers for their sharing their condolences on social media.

“My mom would be stunned by all the attention and all the kind words that were written and spoken about her,” the CNN anchor said. “I know this because when I got her to join Instagram when she was 92 or so, she didn’t think that anyone would actually follow her. ‘Why would anyone be interested,’ she asked. It wasn’t long before she had some 200,000 followers and I got to tell you it tickled her beyond belief.”

Cooper then shared details about Vanderbilt’s final days, including her cancer diagnosis. “My mom found out June 8th that she had cancer. She lived nine more days. Friends came to see her. She laughed a lot. She saw her family and her nurses cared for her with true love and affection.

“It was the best possible end to her remarkable life,” he continued. “Being able to spend those nine days and nights with her was an extraordinary blessing. She died Monday shortly after 4:00 am, and while I was holding her hand and her head when she took her last breath, it’s still a little hard for me to believe that she’s gone. I never realized she was my north star, and now things seem a little bit less bright and magical without her.”

Cooper then visibly paused to collect himself.

“My dad died when I was 10. My brother when I was 21,” he said, his voice cracking. “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.”

Cooper’s father, Wyatt, was Vanderbilt’s fourth husband. He died during heart surgery in 1978 at age 50. His brother Carter died by suicide in 1988.

“I’m happy that I was able to the last years of her life comfortable and fulfilling. When I die that might be the thing I am most proud of,” he said with a smile.

“I’m glad we left nothing left unsaid between us. I knew her and she knew me. And there is great comfort in that,” he continued. “‘You and I, it’s a match made in heaven,’ she said to me last week. ‘We’re a great team,’ I told her.”

The segment ended with Cooper playing one of his mother’s favorites, Peggy Lee’s “Is That All There Is.” Watch the full segment below:

Vanderbilt, a fashion designer, actress, heiress, artist and socialite, was 95 when she died Monday.