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Anderson Cooper is a father; gives infant son a special name

Announcement of birth surprises viewers, as Cooper had not spoken of baby plans before

FILE - In this Dec. 8, 2019, file photo, Anderson Cooper attends the 13th annual CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. Cooper is a father, a milestone the CNN anchor says for a while he didn't believe would ever happen. Cooper announced the birth of his son, Wyatt, Thursday evening, April 30, 2020, on his show and in a lengthy Instagram post. His son was born on Monday via a surrogate, the newsman said, and is named after his father who died when Cooper was 10. (Photo by Jason Mendez/Invision/AP, File)
FILE - In this Dec. 8, 2019, file photo, Anderson Cooper attends the 13th annual CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. Cooper is a father, a milestone the CNN anchor says for a while he didn't believe would ever happen. Cooper announced the birth of his son, Wyatt, Thursday evening, April 30, 2020, on his show and in a lengthy Instagram post. His son was born on Monday via a surrogate, the newsman said, and is named after his father who died when Cooper was 10. (Photo by Jason Mendez/Invision/AP, File) (2019 Invision)

NEW YORK – CNN's Anderson Cooper is the proud father of a newborn baby boy.

The news, announced at the end of Thursday’s televised weekly coronavirus town hall and in a lengthy Instagram post, came as a big surprise to CNN viewers, as Cooper, 52, had not spoken publicly about his plans to have a baby.

Cooper, who is gay, said in his on-air announcement that “I never thought it would be possible to have a child, and I am so grateful for all those who have paved the way, and for the doctors and nurses and everyone involved in my son’s birth.”

“Most of all,” he said, “I am eternally grateful to a remarkable surrogate who carried Wyatt, watched over him lovingly, tenderly, and gave birth to him.”

Wyatt Morgan Cooper was born on Monday weighing 7 pounds 2 ounces.

View this post on Instagram

I want to share with you some joyful news. On Monday, I became a father. This is Wyatt Cooper. He is three days old. He is named after my father, who died when I was ten. I hope I can be as good a dad as he was. My son's middle name is Morgan. It's a family name on my mom's side. I know my mom and dad liked the name morgan because I recently found a list they made 52 years ago when they were trying to think of names for me. Wyatt Morgan Cooper. My son. He was 7.2 lbs 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 grateful for all those who have paved the way, and for the doctors and nurses and everyone involved in my son's birth. Most of all, I am grateful to a remarkable surrogate who carried Wyatt, and watched over him lovingly, and tenderly, and gave birth to him. It is an extraordinary blessing - what she, and all surrogates give to families who cant have children. My surrogate has a beautiful family of her own, a wonderfully supportive husband, and kids, and I am incredibly thankful for all the support they have given Wyatt and me. My family is blessed to have this family in our lives I do wish my mom and dad and my brother, Carter, were alive to meet Wyatt, but I like to believe they can see him. I imagine them all together, arms around each other, smiling and laughing, happy to know that their love is alive in me and in Wyatt, and that our family continues.

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The anchor said he felt it was important, amid stories about those who are suffering and dying during the coronavirus pandemic, to “hold on to moments of joy.”

That's how he introduced his own joyful news: "On Monday, I became a father," he said. "I've never actually said that before, out loud, and it still kind of astonishes me. I am a dad. I have a son. And I want you to meet him."

Cooper’s father, who died when he was 10 years old, was named Wyatt. Now Cooper is passing the name to a new generation. “I hope I can be as good a dad as he was,” he said during the announcement.

His son's middle name, Morgan, is a name from the family tree of his mother Gloria Vanderbilt. She died last year.

"I do wish my mom and dad and my brother, Carter were alive to meet Wyatt," Cooper said, "but I like to believe they can see him. 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. New life and new love."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.