Carson Daly Returns to ‘Today’ Show Two Days After His Stepfather’s Death

It has been an extremely emotional week for Carson Daly. Just two days after his “Pops,” Richard Caruso passed away after a battle with bone cancer, the host returned to the Today show on the Thursday, October 26, episode.

“Last time I was here, I was talking but my mom and how she had unexpectedly passed away,” he said, referencing his mother, Patty Daly Caruso, who died only five weeks ago of a heart attack at age 73. Both his parents were healthy in June, Daly pointed out.

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“My stepfather Dick Caruso has passed away on Tuesday now. His health was in peril. We knew that was a foregone conclusion,” he added. “Mom had taken care of Dad. Mom was the one that went so quickly, and then we lost my dad on Tuesday. It’s been a crazy month. It’s been really really hard.”

Daly went on to explain that his mother married his stepfather when he was 8 and his sister, Quinn, was 11. “He took us in, he was my role model, my mentor,” he said, describing Pops as an “old school” man who “led by example, not by words.”

“He had a deep, great, personal faith that I would later in life gravitate toward, just again be example,” he added. “He drank a Cut Sark, worked hard, and loved golf. Golf would be the sport that brought our relationship together, where he taught me so much about life … and really the man that I am.”

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Daly wrapped up his dedication by saying he felt blessed that he had Patty and Dick as his parents. “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,” he explained.” That’s because they were incredible parents and I hope to pass that down.”

Earlier this month, Daly also paid tribute to his mother, who passed away suddenly on September 17. “When she walked in this room, she lit the place up,” cohost Hoda Kotb said on the October 4 episode of Today. “There was something special and unique.”

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“She also stole everything! I’m telling you, going through her things, it’s an example of how much she loved life. She literally was a kleptomaniac. If it wasn’t nailed down, she took it,” Daly said. “I’m talking about wine corks she would write on, ash trays, menus from around the world, rundowns from the Today show.

“She died at 73, but she lived a life that was passionately twice as much, so she really died at 146,” he continued. “By the way, you guys gave my mom the greatest gift ever by employing me on the Today show, so she could watch me every single morning in her kitchen, and I know that she did. There’s no place she’d rather have me be than right back here.”

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