Fashion icon Gloria Vanderbilt dead at 95, son Anderson Cooper reflects on her life

Gloria Vanderbilt 8th Annual Living Landmarks Gala at the Plaza Hotel, NYC
Anderson Cooper revealed that his mom, Gloria Vanderbilt, passed away at 95. Pic credit: © Photos

Gloria Vanderbilt, mother of CNN’s Anderson Cooper, passed away at 95 years old on Monday.

The iconic writer, artist, and fashion designer overcame many personal hardships throughout her life on the road to success. Although many people know Gloria Vanderbilt’s name because of fashion and her ties to the famous Vanderbilt family, not many people know the story of Vanderbilt’s life.

Anderson Cooper provided many details in celebration of his mother’s life that fans may not have known before.

Who is Gloria Vanderbilt?

Gloria Vanderbilt was born in 1924 to Reginald Claypoole Vanderbilt, the great-grandson of Cornelius Vanderbilt, and Gloria Morgan, who was only 19 years old when she married.

When Gloria was only one year old, her father passed away. She remained with her mother for almost 10  years until her aunt, Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, sued for custody and won.

The custody battle took place during the Great Depression, taking over headlines for months on end. Gloria Vanderbilt did not want the publicity as a child, but unfortunately, she was always in the spotlight.

In what appeared to be an effort to leave her aunt, Vanderbilt was first married at the age of 17, to Pasquale di Cicco.

When Vanderbilt married di Cicco, her aunt cut her out of her will. At age 21, Vanderbilt took control of her inheritance and divorced di Cicco, promptly marrying Leopold Stokowski. They were married for many years but eventually divorced. Following Stokowski, Vanderbilt would marry Sidney Lumet.

After divorcing Lumet, Vanderbilt married Wyatt Emory Cooper. Vanderbilt’s marriage to Cooper is said to be her happiest marriage. Vanderbilt did not remarry after Cooper’s passing in 1978.

A lot of Vanderbilt’s spotlight surrounds her marriages and her childhood, but it’s important to remember that Gloria Vanderbilt made a name for herself.

Gloria Vanderbilt was a painter, writer, actress, and fashion designer. In 1980, the Gloria Vanderbilt designer jeans brand was making over $200 million a year. Even decades later, Gloria Vanderbilt is still a common name in the fashion world.

Vanderbilt wrote several books, perhaps the most notable being It Seemed Important at the Time: A Romance Memoir, which was published in 2004. Anderson Cooper notes that “it’s like an older Sex and the City.”

Although it may seem like Gloria Vanderbilt couldn’t make up her mind when it came to marriage and love, the people that knew her would likely disagree.

Gloria Vanderbilt, a lover of people and arts

Anderson Cooper had a close relationship with his mother, as we can see in the CNN clip above. Cooper notes in the video that his mother was always in love, whether it was with a person, a book, or her art.

She was surrounded by friends and family when she passed away, surrounded by love and more than likely feeling love for every person in the room as well. Cooper notes that while she may have wanted a few more days or weeks on Earth to finish another book or an art project, she died on her own terms.

Gloria Vanderbilt’s life sends a message that revolves around love, seeking love, and surrounding yourself with love. Anderson Cooper noted that his mother “was a painter, a writer, and designer but also a remarkable mother, wife, and friend.

“She was 95 years old, but ask anyone close to her, and they’d tell you, she was the youngest person they knew, the coolest, and most modern.”

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