Carson Daly Makes Emotional Return to 'Today,' Talks About the Death of His Stepdad

Carson Daly on Today
NBC/Today Show

Carson Daly is coping with the recent death of his stepfather, Richard Caruso, just five weeks after his mother, Pattie Daly Caruso, died of a sudden heart attack.

The 44-year-old television personality returned to the Today show on Thursday, where he honored Caruso's memory. Daly shared that Caruso had come into his life when his mother remarried when he was eight years old, after Daly's biological father died when he was five.

"It's been a crazy month, it's just been really, really hard," Daly acknowledged, before describing Caruso as a person. "He took us in. He's my role model, my mentor. He was an incredible guy. Old school. ... He led by example, not by words." 

"Had a deep personal faith that I, later in life, would gravitate towards, just again, by example," he added. "Family first. We always had dinner in high school. He was like, 'Hey, I don't care what you do after, but we're all gonna have family dinner at 6 o'clock and then you can go to the movies.' That was dad."

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Daly credited Caruso with how he's turned out as a person.

"He taught me so much about life and really the man that I am," he said. "I'm grateful that I had 85 years with him. He was an incredible person and he will he missed."

Daly also talked about losing both of his parents in such a short time period.

"It's hard to grasp that considering that they were both healthy in June," he shared. "But the enormity of this, the totality of the loss so soon, is still a struggle."

"I realize the more pain I feel losing my parents is a testament to how much they impacted on my life, and they clearly equipped me with the tools to handle it, because they're incredible parents, and I hope to pass that down," he continued.

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On Tuesday, Daly announced the death of his stepfather just hours after tweeting that Caruso's health was "in peril."

"Pops passed away today with absolute dignity & pride. The greatest man we ever knew. Our hero," Daly Instagrammed alongside a photo of Caruso. "He exemplified great faith, loyalty to family & hard work. He provided us all with so much. We’re grateful. His legacy lives on in all of us & anyone who had the pleasure of meeting him."

"He’s reunited with mom now. Our faith remains strong," he continued. "Thanks for your continued thoughts and prayers."

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