Anderson Cooper knows firsthand that a mother will do anything for their child — and he means anything!
While appearing on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert Thursday, the 54-year-old journalist opened up about how his late mother, Gloria Vanderbilt, had offered to serve as a surrogate and carry a child for him when she was 85 years old.
Cooper told host Stephen Colbert that he'd never before shared the story about his mother, who died in 2019 at the age of 95. Cooper said his mom was "kind of nutty" and had seen a gynecologist at the time who told her that she would still be able to carry a child.
The journalist explained that Vanderbilt said she'd serve as a surrogate for Cooper, should he want to have a baby.
"I finally said to her, I was like, 'Mom, I love you, but even for you, that is just bats--- crazy. That is just nuts,' " Cooper shared with a laugh. "That is so weirdly oedipal on a whole new level. That kid would be on the cover of The New York Post for the rest of its life."
Jim Spellman/WireImage Anderson Cooper and Gloria Vanderbilt
Vanderbilt's quest to help her son welcome a child into the world didn't end there, however, as Cooper continued to detail to Colbert, 57.
"Then, fast forward two years later, I get a thing in the mail that my mom has sent me ... and it's a newspaper clipping and it's a photograph, the headline is, 'Grandmother Bears Child for Son,' and it's some woman, I think in Italy who was like 65 or something, or 70," Cooper explained. "And it's a photo of her in the labor room in the stirrups."
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Noting that the woman had "a gay son," Cooper said that the son's husband had donated his sperm to fertilize a donated egg — both of which the Italian grandmother was carrying.
"She's in the delivery room with her legs in the thing, and her son and his husband are right there, ready to catch," Cooper continued, recreating the photograph for Colbert and viewers at home. "And my mom has circled it, and written in a note, 'See!' "
RELATED VIDEO: Anderson Cooper Opens Up About Having More Children: "It Would Certainly Be Nice for Wyatt to Have a Sibling"
Cooper would later go on to welcome a child, son Wyatt Morgan, who was born in April 2020.
In this week's PEOPLE cover story, Cooper opened up about his son, 16 months, and how his new book (co-written with historian and novelist Katherine Howe) Vanderbilt: The Rise and Fall of an American Dynasty (available Sept. 21), dives deep into the past to tell the incredible story of how his ancestors were once among the richest people in the world before losing it all.
Wyatt, whom Cooper is co-parenting with his former partner of 10 years, Benjamin Maisani, 48, served as an inspiration for the project, and Cooper opened up to PEOPLE about the possibility of welcoming more children into his family someday. "Would I want to have more kids? I would, definitely. It would certainly be nice for Wyatt to have a sibling. Yeah, it would be," he said.
Cooper also told PEOPLE that Wyatt is "so happy and giggly" these days. "He does this thing where we go to a coffee place and he'll walk around and look at people, and once they make eye contact with him he'll laugh," the proud dad continued. "I love how he interacts with strangers and takes joy in them. I'm charmed by everything he does, annoyingly. And being there when he wakes up and taking him out of the crib, it's just the best."
"I suddenly think like, 'Oh my God, there's going to be a time when he won't let me kiss his face all over or hold his hand even.' I just want to rub his tummy right now as much as I can, because I know at a certain point he'll be like, 'Just get away from me,'" added Cooper.