Don Lemon returned to CNN on Tuesday, February 6, following the death of his sister. The news anchor got choked up while speaking about his older sibling, L’Tanya “Leisa” Lemon Grimes, who died last week in an accidental drowning.
“First off, many of you have noticed that I have not been here. My older sister died unexpectedly last week and I am back sitting with you tonight because this is exactly where she would have wanted me to be,” the 51-year-old journalist told viewers. “Leisa was so proud of me, and all she wanted for Christmas last year was a new CNN Tonight T-shirt.”
Lemon went on to thank those who have supported him since her passing, including Jeff Zucker, Sean Hannity, Megyn Kelly, Wendy Williams, Cory Booker and Tamron Hall. “I want all of you to know that your prayers and your words of encouragement have meant the world to me and my family over the last few days,” he said. “So many of you have reached out to me that I can’t respond to all of them, so I want to respond now and please pass this on.”
He added: “There’s so much conflict happening right now, I think it’s important for all Americans to know that when something like this happens, it tends to bring out the best in people. Some of my competitors, people I have raging arguments with on television — you think we hate each other, but we don’t.”
As previously reported, Grimes fell into a neighborhood pond while fishing in Livingston Parish, Louisiana, and officials do not suspect that foul play was involved. She was 58.