When Stephen Colbert was growing up, his father and two of his brothers were killed in a plane crash. Opening up about the tragedy, the comedian admits that he isn’t mad about what happened to he and his family.
Stephen Colbert has had a lot of good fortune in his life. After all, he’s taking over as host of The Late Show beginning Sept. 8. However, he’s also suffered a great deal and, in the new issue of GQ, the 51-year-old is opening up about his life following the 1974 accident which killed his two brothers and his father, and how he’s managed to find serenity following such tragedy.
“I’m not angry. I’m not,” Stephen told GQ. “I’m mystified, I’ll tell you that. But I’m not angry.”
Stephen is the youngest of eleven children, and when the accident took place, he was just ten years old. The two brothers whom were killed were the closest to him in age, while the rest of his siblings had already moved out of the house. Following the accident, he and his mother then moved to Charleston where he enrolled in prep school. Unsurprisingly, he wasn’t very invested, academically speaking.
“There was no way to threaten me,” Stephen said. “It was like, ‘What? What’s that? Oh, okay, I might get a bad grade? Oh no. Wouldn’t want that.’” However, 41 years later, Stephen seems to have found peace with what happened to him.
“I was left alone a lot after Dad and the boys died,” he said. “And it was just me and Mom for a long time. And by her example am I not bitter. By her example. She was not. Broken, yes. Bitter, no… It was a very healthy reciprocal acceptance of suffering… Which does not mean being defeated by suffering. Acceptance is not defeat. Acceptance is just awareness.”
Are you going to watch Stephen when he takes over The Late Show?
— Casey Mink