Anderson Cooper Reveals He's A Dad Live On CNN

CNN anchor and noted silver fox Anderson Cooper is officially a dad! Cooper announced the birth of his son live on-air during his usual news slot on April 30, 2020, revealing the newborn's name to be Wyatt.

Cooper, who publicly came out as gay in 2012, per the Los Angeles Times, told viewers that the occasion was made even more momentous by the fact that as someone who grew up in an age where even coming out of the closet was almost inconceivable, being able to have children and raise a family as someone out-and-proud was beyond his wildest dreams.

"As a gay kid, I never thought it would be possible to have a child," the CNN host told viewers. He continued, "I'm so grateful for all those who paved the way, and for the doctors and nurses and everyone involved in my son's birth."

While Cooper's jubilation over the birth of his son was readily apparent, the announcement was also bittersweet. The name "Wyatt" is one imbued with Cooper's legacy as a member of the Vanderbilt family, and, ultimately, an encapsulation of both Cooper's family history and personal tragedies.

The name of Anderson Cooper's son has a deeper meaning

As Anderson Cooper later revealed in an Instagram post, which features the journalist holding Wyatt, his celebration over his son's birth was not without a sense of grief. Even the newborn's full name, Wyatt Morgan Cooper, is a nod to the profound sense of loss Cooper has experienced over the years in light of the deaths of those closest to him.

"[Wyatt] is named after my father, who died when I was ten," the newscaster wrote in a heartfelt caption, a word-for-word transcript of the announcement he gave on-air. Cooper's own dad, Wyatt Emory Cooper, "died of a heart ailment" when Cooper was 10, per The New York Times. Cooper himself reflected on how the loss affected his life and upbringing in a tribute he wrote for the New York Times in 2016.

"If I could see my father just once more, sit down and talk with him, look into his crystal blue eyes, feel the safety of his arms around me, I would give anything for that," Cooper penned at the time. 

"Does he approve of the man that I've become?" Cooper continued. "I'd tell him about the choices I've had to make, the fears and difficulties I've struggled to overcome. What would he have done if he were me?"

Wyatt's first name is a fitting homage to his long-deceased grandfather, but it's not the only tribute Cooper made to members of his late, great family.

The name of Anderson Cooper's son is also a tribute to mother Gloria Vanderbilt

According to Anderson Cooper's Instagram post, Wyatt's middle name is an homage to his mother, famous socialite Gloria Vanderbilt, who died in 2019 at the age of 95. "My son's middle name is Morgan," Cooper shared with his followers. "It's a family name on my mom's side."

Cooper, who was close with his mother up until her death, referred to Vanderbilt as his "north star," on his show, Anderson Cooper 360°, at the time of her passing, noting that "things seem a lot less bright and magical without her." 

The newscaster also revealed a double meaning to his son's middle name: not only was the name "Morgan" one of import in his family lore, but Cooper discovered that it might've ended up as his own."I know my mom and dad liked the name [M]organ because I recently found a list they made 52 years ago when they were trying to think of names for me," Cooper revealed.

That being said, the birth of Cooper's son brought back memories of other family members he's lost besides his parents.

Anderson Cooper memorialized his family in his son's birth announcement

Anderson Cooper finished up his personally-penned birth announcement for his son with the inclusion of a rarely discussed member of the Vanderbilt family: his late brother Carter Cooper, who died in 1988 after completing suicide. 

"I do wish my mom and my dad and my brother, Carter, were alive to meet Wyatt, but I like to believe that they can see him," Cooper shared with his followers. "I imagine them all together, arms around each other, smiling and laughing and watching looking down on us, happy to know that their love is alive in me and in Wyatt, and that our family continues."

Though Cooper rarely discusses the death of his older sibling, the Anderson Cooper 360° host posted a memorial on social media in July 2019, marking the 31st anniversary of Carter's tragic departure — an anniversary which occurred only a month after his mother's passing.

Despite his myriad losses, Cooper emphasized how grateful he is for his new-found parenthood, even in these uncertain times. "It is, I think, especially important in these times of trouble to try to hold onto moments of joy and moments of happiness," Cooper stated, adding that his newborn Wyatt "is sweet and soft and healthy. And [Cooper is] beyond happy."