People.com Celebrity Parents How Mom Gloria Vanderbilt's Death Pushed Anderson Cooper to Become a Dad: 'It Made Me Think' "She said instantly, 'Of course it's going to be a boy,' " Anderson Cooper says of how his mom, Gloria Vanderbilt, reacted to him wanting to have a child By Dan Wakeford Published on June 15, 2020 11:15 AM Share Tweet Pin Email Anderson Cooper's mother Gloria Vanderbilt helped the CNN anchor make the most important decision in his life: to become a dad. For this week's Pride issue, Cooper tells PEOPLE what it was like telling his late mother, who died last June at the age of 95, he wanted to have a baby. "She was thrilled," says the new dad, 53. "I told her maybe two weeks before she died. When she started to get ill, it was very quick. [Son Wyatt Morgan, 6 weeks] was just an idea in my head and a desire — but I thought, 'This is the time to tell her.' " He continues, "We had this incredible last few weeks of her life where we spent every day together, just talking and watching TV, listening to music, laughing and telling stories. She said instantly, 'Of course it's going to be a boy.' " Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories. Anderson Cooper and Gloria Vanderbilt. Jim Spellman/WireImage Anderson Cooper and son Wyatt. Melanie Acevedo Inside Anderson Cooper's Nursery for Son Wyatt — and the Sweet Ways He's Honoring Gloria Vanderbilt "I didn't say that I would name him after my dad, but she knew that's what it would be — and she knew that if it was a girl, she would be named after her," Cooper recalls. Cooper welcomed son Wyatt via surrogate on April 27, and says his mother's death helped him decide he was ready to become a dad. "When Mom died, she was 95, and she'd talked about her death for pretty much as long as I can remember, so I was ready for it. But I wasn't prepared for the realization that I don't really have any immediate family left." Anderson Cooper and son Wyatt on the cover of PEOPLE's Pride issue. Melanie Acevedo Anderson Cooper Opens Up About Why He Chose Surrogacy — and If He's Considering Having More Kids Cooper was 10 when his father died during open-heart surgery at 50; his brother Carter died by suicide in 1988 at 23. "It was a very lonely feeling that I hadn't really anticipated," Cooper tells PEOPLE. "It made me think, 'Well, all right, this is definitely meant to be.' " For more from Anderson Cooper, pick up this week's Pride issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands now.