Our thoughts are with TV host Carson Daly as he deals with the heartbreaking death of his stepfather Dick Caruso on Oct. 24, just weeks after losing mother Pattie Daly Caruso. Carson lost his biological dad when he was just five years old, so Dick was the most important man in his life.
"Pops passed away today with absolute dignity & pride," wrote Carson alongside a photo of his stepfather on Instagram. "The greatest man we ever knew. Our hero. He exemplified great faith, loyalty to family & hard work. He provided us all with so much. We’re grateful. His legacy lives on in all of us & anyone who had the pleasure of meeting him. He’s reunited with mom now. Our faith remains strong. Thanks for your continued thoughts and prayers."
Just one month earlier, Carson honored his mother's passing by having his TODAY Show co-host Matt Lauer read a statement in which Carson and his family remembered the woman they affectionately called Kiki.
"It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of our mother, wife, grandmother, Pattie Daly Caruso. She passed away peacefully on Sunday, September 17th, 2017,” the statement read. “Kiki, as she was known to her grandchildren and many others, touched so many lives with her kindness, her giant spirit, and her love of life. She will be terribly missed by her family and the world, but her spark will shine for eternity.”
No cause of death was listed in the televised statement for Pattie, but the Desert Sun, a newspaper in Palm Springs, CA reported that according to a family spokesman, Pattie died of a heart attack. A local celebrity in her own right, Pattie was well-known in California. She had her own talk show, called Valley Views, for 25 years, and she interviewed guests such as Barbara Sinatra and Arnold Palmer.
For Carson, his mom was his "inspiration" and "a pillar of strength." Pattie's first husband, Jim Daly, was diagnosed with bladder cancer when she was just 35 years old. In the late 90s, Pattie battled breast cancer and underwent aggressive treatment and mastectomy.
“Some people will say, it's not the cross — it’s how you bear,’’ Carson said in 2013. “Her life is a constant example for me of how to bear that cross.”
Even though she was known for her philanthropy and television career, Pattie's biggest achievement, in her opinion, was her family. “I don't look back and wish I'd had a bigger career or whatever,’’ she said. “I've just loved, loved being a mom. To think that I might be doing something right is the most wonderful, thrilling thing that I could hear, period.” Her death comes on the heels of another tragedy for the TODAY Show family — the passing of Kathie Lee Gifford's mother Joan Epstein.