Anderson Cooper’s Sons Play With the Same Toys He and His Late Brother Carter Once Used (Exclusive)

When Anderson Cooper watches his young sons play, he is often reminded of his late brother Carter.

“Just seeing their relationship, it’s amazing,” Cooper, 56, says of Wyatt, 3, and 19-month-old Sebastian in the new issue of PEOPLE.

In fact, Cooper’s sons play with the same toys that the reporter and his older brother once used.

“I recently found wooden blocks that my brother and I used to play with,” says Cooper, who is raising the boys with his friend and former partner, Benjamin Maisani. “That was a big toy for us.”

Anderson Cooper on Dealing with Past Loss and Finding ‘Bliss’ with Sons Wyatt and Sebastian (Exclusive)

“They have all these markings on them – we drew robots on them and stuff like that,” he continues. “And now it’s crazy to see Wyatt playing with them and building things.”

Sebastian, for his part, uses the box that Cooper made in first grade. “I remember making this box. And now Sebastian has it and puts books and the like in it,” he says.

“It’s nice to see this cycle of life and love and how all these things repeat themselves,” adds Cooper. “They play the same games I played as a kid and invent new games. And I just have an incredible sense of wonder about it and witnessing it up close.”

Carter died by suicide at the age of 23 in 1988, ten years after his father, writer Wyatt Cooper, suffered a heart attack. Cooper’s mother, socialite and designer Gloria Vanderbilt, died at age 95 in 2019.

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Anderson Cooper and sons Wyatt and Sebastian posed for People on September 4.

As the only surviving member of his immediate family, Cooper takes the time to go through family belongings, organize and digitize photos and letters, so that his boys have a strong sense of their family’s history.

“Whenever in their life they’re interested in learning and looking at it, it’s going to be there,” Cooper says.

The sorting of personal items was a process that deeply affected journalists.

“For me, it’s so full of memories, emotions and stuff,” he says. “You find a box of Christmas cards from, I don’t know, 1984, and you think, ‘Oh, I can just throw these away.’ And you start reading them.”

A family portrait of the Coopers playing on the sofa in their home, Southampton, Long Island, New York, March 30, 1972. American author and actor Wyatt Emory Cooper and heiress Gloria Vanderbilt Cooper sit with their sons, Carter (1965 - 1988) .  ) and Anderson Cooper.

Wyatt Cooper and Gloria Vanderbilt with sons Anderson and Carter in 1972.

Jack Robinson/Hulton Archive/Getty

He says he found letters from Marilyn Monroe, Charlie Chaplin and Frank Sinatra, with whom his famous mother once had a romantic relationship.

Anderson Cooper’s sons each have their own ‘delicious’ giggles, but they didn’t inherit his (exclusive)

“There are letters from Marilyn Monroe and telegrams from Frank Sinatra and Christmas cards from Charlie Chaplin. I didn’t know Charlie Chaplin sent Christmas cards. No one is,” he says.

Cooper will arrange everything for his sons if they want to learn more in the future. “I liked the idea of ​​making this record if they were interested. And if they’re not interested, that’s fine too. I don’t want them to feel burdened by the past,” he says.

Find out more about Anderson Cooper in the new issue of PEOPLE magazine.

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Source: HIS Education

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