When Anderson Cooper welcomed his son Wyatt in April 2020, it was a dream come true for him in many ways. “As a gay kid, I never thought it would be possible to have a child, and I’m grateful for all those who have paved the way, and for the doctors and nurses and everyone involved in my son's birth,” he wrote in an emotional Instagram post at the time. Since then, the CNN anchor has been publicly marveling over his little boy and how he has changed his life. Not just his future, it seems, but also how he connects with his past. Cooper opened up about Wyatt’s resemblance to his brother Carter and it’s another element of parenting that has taken him by surprise.
Cooper’s brother Carter died by suicide when he was 23 years old in 1988 at the Manhattan home of their mother, designer Gloria Vanderbilt. His death came 10 years after the loss of Cooper’s father and his son’s namesake, Wyatt Cooper, died. In 2019, Cooper spoke to People about the loss of his brother, explaining, “I think it’s still hard to believe it’s been so long because I think it’s still so present in our lives, that sense of loss.”
The arrival of baby Wyatt has brought something of Carter back to Cooper’s life, as well as his mother, who died in 2019 at the age of 95 years old. "I've started to realize how much Wyatt looks like Carter, who looked [like] my mom," Cooper told People. "It's just this extraordinary feeling of connection to people who are no longer here and connection to the past. I really didn't expect that."
Seeing a family resemblance in Wyatt must feel especially meaningful to Cooper after experiencing so much loss in his lifetime. In 2017, Cooper told ABC News’ Dan Harris that he had spent much of his life after the loss of his brother on autopilot, struggling with processing his own grief. “You know when you're driving in a car … and you get to the place and you have no memory of how you actually got there?” he explained on the 10% Happier podcast. “I just feel like that's how I’ve spent — I’ve done [that] a lot in the last 20 years.”
Now that he has little Wyatt, his days sound much happier. “I'm charmed by everything he does, annoyingly,” Cooper told People. “And being there when he wakes up and taking him out of the crib, it's just the best."