CNN host Anderson Cooper choked back tears as he revealed on the air Thursday night, at the conclusion of a town hall on the coronavirus pandemic, that he is a father. His son, Wyatt Morgan Cooper, was born Monday to a surrogate mother.
“It’s been a difficult time in all of our lives, and there are certainly many hard days ahead,” Cooper said. “It is, I think, especially important in these times of trouble to try to hold on to moments of joy and moments of happiness. Even as we mourn the loss of loved ones, we’re also blessed with new life and new love.
“So I just wanted to take a moment and share with you some joyful news of my own,” he added. “On Monday, I became a father. I never actually said that before out loud, and it still kind of astonishes me. I’m a dad. I have a son, and I want you to meet him.”
“This is Wyatt Cooper,” the host said as a photo of his son flashed on screen. “He is 3 days old. He’s named after my dad who died when I was 10 years old. I hope I can be as good a dad as he was.
“My son’s middle name is Morgan, which is a family name on my mom’s side,” he said, referring to his late mother Gloria Vanderbilt. “I know my mom and dad liked the name Morgan, because while I was going through her things recently, I found a list they made 52 years ago, when they were trying to think of names for me.
“So that’s Wyatt Morgan Cooper, my son,” Cooper said, overcome with emotion. “He was 7.2 pounds at birth, and he is sweet and soft and healthy, and I am beyond happy. As a gay kid, I never thought it would be possible to have a child, and 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. Most of all, I am eternally grateful to a remarkable surrogate who carried Wyatt, watched over him, and gave birth to him. It’s an extraordinary blessing which she and all surrogates give to families that can’t have children. My surrogate has a beautiful family of her own, an amazingly supportive husband. I’m so thankful for all the support that they have given Wyatt and me. She has kids of her own, and I appreciate their support as well. My family is blessed to have this family in our lives.
“I do wish my mom and dad and brother were alive to meet Wyatt, but I like to believe that they can see him,” Cooper said, his voice cracking. “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 Wyatt and that our family continues. New life and new love.”
Cooper then went back to CNN chief medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta, who said he’s been “bursting at the seams” trying to keep Cooper’s secret since Monday.
“I’m so, so happy for you. I’m just thrilled for you, and I don’t know how you got through what you just read. I was looking for the Kleenex here,” Gupta said.