Anderson Cooper And Mother Discuss Family Suicide

Published: Sep 25, 2021

Anderson Cooper sat down with his mother and heiress Gloria Vanderbilt on Cooper’s CNN talk show to discuss the suicide of his brother Carter. In 1988 at the age of 23 Carter Vanderbilt Cooper jumped to his death from the family’s 14th floor New York penthouse. In the rare interview Cooper asked his mother if she still thought about that day.

“All the time, I still run through it. There was a moment when…he did not jump,” said Vanderbilt. “He was sitting on the wall thirteen floors up, on the balcony. With one foot on there and one foot hanging down, he kept looking down.

“I kept begging him too…and then when he went, he went like an athlete and hung over the wall like this. I said, ‘Carter, come back,’ and for a minute I thought he was going to come back, but he didn’t. He let go. There was a moment when I thought I was going to jump after him. However, then I thought of you, and it stopped me from doing that.”

In her 1997 book “A Mothers Story” she said she believed anti-asthma medication was behind Carter’s decision to make the fatal jump. She believed it was caused by a psychotic episode induced by an allergy to the anti-asthma medical prescription-drug Proventil.

At the time of his brother’s death Cooper was 21, and he recalled the mournful experience as one reason he is inspired by his mother. “You have survived so many things,” he said. “This custody battle when you were 10 years old, the loss of your father when you were an infant, the loss of Carter, of my dad, your husband and so many others.”

“It hasn’t made you tough,” he added. “It hasn’t hardened you. You’re still open to experience and open to new loss and open to new heartbreak and to new love.”

Aside from Anderson and Carter, Vanderbilt has 2 other sons from her second marriage. She talked about her close relationship with comedian actress Kathy Griffin. Gloria is very close friends with comedienne Kathy Griffin, referred to Kathy as her “fantasy daughter.” Kathy refers to Gloria as “Glo”, as did her third husband, Lumet.

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