Anderson Cooper returned to CNN on Thursday after his mother, Gloria Vanderbilt died early Monday morning at the age of 95, just days after being diagnosed with cancer. At the end of his show, Cooper paid a touching and emotional tribute to his late mother.
“Being able to spend those nine days and nights with her was a great, great blessing,” Cooper said, fighting back tears. “They were the most extraordinary days of my life and I’m very grateful. She died Monday shortly after 4 a.m., and though I was holding her hand and her head when she took her last breath, it’s still a little hard for me to believe she’s gone.”
Cooper went on to explain what makes his mother’s death, for him, all the more tragic.
“My dad died when I was ten, and my brother when I was 21. She was the last of my immediate family,” Cooper said. “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 ended by revealing that in her final days, his mother liked him to play a YouTube video of Peggy Lee’s 1969 hit song “Is That All There Is?” He said they’d sing along and he’d swing her hand as if they were dancing.
“Every time it ended,” Cooper explained, “My mom would say, ‘Isn't that marvelous?’ She'd be smiling. And it was. With her, with my mom, it was marvelous.”
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