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In his first live show back on CNN Thursday night, Anderson Cooper opened up about his heartache and loneliness surrounding the death of his mother, Gloria Vanderbilt.
After thanking viewers for their outpouring of love, adding that his mom would “be stunned by all the attention and kind words spoken about her,” he touched on her sudden stomach cancer diagnosis and the days they spent together just before she passed at the age of 95.
“Being able to spend those nine days and nights with her was a great, great blessing. They were the most extraordinary days of my life, and I’m very grateful,” he shared. “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 that she’s gone.”
Cooper visibly blinked back tears as he told viewers that his immediate family is now "all gone," mentioning his father's death and older brother's suicide.
"My dad died when I was 10, and my brother when I was 21. She was the last of my immediate family, the last person who knew me from the beginning," he confessed. "They’re all gone and it feels very lonely right now. I hope they are at least together."
Personal and career success aside, the news anchor admitted that he is most proud of being there for his mom, who was a well-known fashion designer and socialite, during the final years of her life.
"I'm happy that I was able to make the latter years of her life comfortable and fulfilling. When I die, that might be the thing I am most proud of. I'm happy that we left nothing unsaid between us."
Cooper's remarks come following several tributes he made in his mother's honor both in a videotaped eulogy on CNN and on social media regarding her endless determination, professional successes, enthusiasm for life and incredible legacy.
"She was determined to make something of her life, determined to make a name for herself and find the love and family that she so desperately craved," Cooper declared in the seven-minute video. "Over the course of her life, my mom was photographed by all the great photographers. She worked as a painter, a writer, an actress and designer. If you were around in the early 1980s it was pretty hard to miss the jeans she helped create."
Vanderbilt was married four times — to PatDiCicco (1941 to 1945), Leopold Stokowski (1945 to 1955), Sidney Lumet (1956 to 1963), and to Wyatt Cooper (1963 to 1978). She was mom to four sons: Christopher and Leopold Stokowski and Anderson and Carter Cooper, the latter of whom committed suicide at age 23 in 1988.
ET last spoke to the mother-son duo in 2016 during a promotional tour for their HBO documentary, Nothing Left Unsaid: Gloria Vanderbilt & Anderson Cooper.