Carson Daly returns to TODAY after losing his 'Pops': 'It's been a rough month'

by Eun Kyung Kim / / Source: TODAY

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After losing his “Pops” earlier this week to bone cancer, Carson Daly returned to work Thursday, thanking his TODAY colleagues for their support and acknowledging “it’s been a rough month for my family.”

Carson lost his stepfather, Richard Caruso, 85, on Tuesday, just five weeks after the unexpected death of his mother, Pattie Daly Caruso. While the double loss has been “hard to grasp considering they were both heathy in June,” Carson said he also feels grateful.

“We were so blessed to have them both. They were incredible,” he said. “I realize the more pain that I feel losing my parents is testament to how much of an impact they made in my life and they clearly equipped me with the tools to be able to handle it. That’s because they were incredible parents and I hope to pass that down.”

Carson and his stepdad, Richard Caruso
Carson and his stepdad, Richard CarusoTODAY

Carson was 5 when he lost his father to bladder cancer in 1979. His mother remarried several years later to the man, whom he would later call “Pops” and “Dad," when Carson was 8 and his sister, Quinn, was 11.

“He took us in. He’s my role model, my mentor, an incredible guy,” he said. “Old school. Grew up in The Depression. One of those guys who knew life was going to be hard, Led by example, not by words.”

Carson lost his stepfather just five weeks after his mother, Pattie Daly Caruso, passed away.
Carson lost his stepfather just five weeks after his mother, Pattie Daly Caruso, passed away.TODAY

Carson said his stepfather always insisted the family have dinner together every night at 6 p.m. and recalled his love for golf, “the sport that brought our relationship together, where he taught me so much about life and really the man that I am.”

“He was an incredible person. He will be missed,” he said.

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