Anderson Cooper Holds Back Tears While Reading Orlando Victims' Names

CNN’s Anderson Cooper was visibly affected Monday night while reading the names of victims of Sunday’s shooting in Orlando, Fla.

“They’re more than a list of names. They were people who loved, and were loved. They were people who had families and friends and dreams,” he said, broadcasting live from near Pulse, a gay nightclub where a gunman killed 49 people and wounded many more. “And the truth is, we don’t know much about some of them. We want you to hear their names and a little bit about who they were.”

The anchor, who was clearly affected by the stories of those who had lost their lives, started to falter while relating details about Edward Sotomayor Jr., a 34-year-old travel agent and the first on the list of victims Cooper read.

When CNN did not have a photo or biographical information on a victim, Cooper simply said the person’s name and age.

“We think it’s important that you hear their names,” he said, crying.

Press PLAY on the video above to watch the emotional tribute.

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20 Comments
  1. Eric says:

    This was a beautiful tribute. This is how it should be: we need to hear more about those whose lives are lost in these tragedies, and less about the monsters who take them. My heart goes out to the LGBTQ community and the grieving families and loved ones that were left behind.

    • James says:

      I don’t think the person who did it is a monster. He was a human being like the rest of us. When we lose the capacity to acknowledge the “evil” or the “impulses” inside of us (whatever you want to call it), and when we fail to acknowledge that we are, too, capable of inflicting that kind of pain, we’re missing the point. Yes, it’s important to honor those who lost their lives in this tragedy, but it’s also important to see the other side;to question, what happened in that man’s life that led him to kill 50 strangers just because he didn’t agree with their sexual preferences. It could’ve been intolerance, he could’ve been blinded by faith, he could’ve been mentally ill… the truth is, we’re all guilty, at some point in our lives, of that too. Let’s not call that man a “monster”, because, even when it hurts to accept it, he was as human as the rest of us.

      • Pedro says:

        Religion happened, A mosque in Orlando just two years ago was calling all in attendance to kill gays.

      • bridyyc says:

        If you think he was as human as the rest of us, then I pray and hope that you don’t meet many more humans because even with your twisted perspective trying to redeem a murderer of 49 people, I don’t wish you dead.

        • James says:

          I’m not trying to redeem anyone. Just pointing out that he was as human as the rest of us. I’m not justifying what he did.

          • S says:

            Are you serious? Are you really saying people shouldn’t refer to him as a monster? I don’t think monster even begins to describe this piece of sh…. He changed hundreds of lives forever in 15 minutes by massacring 49 people, if thats not a monster then I don’t know what is.

      • Mary says:

        When one is so full of hate – no matter how they got there then sorry they are a monster.

  2. Laura says:

    This must hit so close to home for Anderson and Don. Seeing Anderson’s raw emotion humanizes these people so much more than just seeing their names on a list or reading a bio. Thank you CNN and Anderson for bringing more depth to this loss than what most 24-hour news cycles usually do

    • H says:

      There is something wrong if the news is Cooper reaction. We feel more because we hear it from a celebrity?! Thank you Anderson for making the massacre all about yourself??? No thank you, we don’t need you to “humanize” the victims, they were human already.

      • Erik says:

        Almost certain he wasn’t as you say making it about himself.

        He’s a part of the lgbt community. And he’s grieving. We’re the people reporting about 9/11 making it about them.

        Anderson is a human being. This effected him.

      • Mary says:

        No there is something wrong when one makes a comment like you did. You lack of empathy is telling.

  3. This was heartbreaking to hear, but I am glad someone is giving a voice to the victims.

  4. The world lost 49 beautiful human beings. They will add more stars to the sky.

  5. Ash says:

    This is how it should be. The media always focuses on the killer, devoting hours and hours to their lives, their motives. It should be the victims who are remembered and immortalized in our minds, not the one who ended their lives too soon. May they rest in peace.

  6. Neill Lobdell says:

    Thanks Anderson, A great tribute to show some reality behind this tragedy. Each one of the victims had a life and a family. For one individual to wipe out the lives of so many young and inspiring human beings takes us back to the stone ages. Our time on this planet is short enough and we cannot allow these radicals to control our fate so we have to stand together and unite as one to wipe this ideology from the earth. If it requires violence to repel violence so be it. From a Canadian Veteran we share your sorrow and we stand ready beside you to ensure for a safe, secure & responsible way of life without the threat of these (no minds) to interfere with our peaceful life style. God Bless. Lobo

  7. bridyyc says:

    Watching this was tough. Just when I think the tears have stopped….they haven’t. Good on AC for showing humanity.

  8. Charlene says:

    Thank you Anderson for putting faces to the victims of this horrible act of violence. If the person who did this is just a “human” like the rest of us then the world is truly doomed. He was a monster.

  9. I love Anderson Cooper always have and always will. This was so beautiful and so heart wrenching. I am tearing up myself. Thank you Anderson for telling us a little about each victim. You are such a lovely person.

  10. fiberlicious says:

    I couldn’t watch the whole clip – too many tears in my eyes. I want to hug Anderson Cooper and not let go.