Published: Tue, June 18, 2019
Entertaiment | By Minnie Bishop

Anderson Cooper mourns mother Gloria Vanderbilt in emotional on-air tribute

Anderson Cooper mourns mother Gloria Vanderbilt in emotional on-air tribute

Cooper's obituary featured clips of young Gloria and told how she grew up in France, unaware that she was heir to the Vanderbilt railroad fortune. He passed away in 1925 when Gloria was 1 year old and left her with a trust fund worth $2.5 million which is equal to approximately $35 million in today's dollars. Vanderbilt died Monday morning at the age of 95 with her friends and family by her side.

Cooper announced his mother's death Monday, eulogizing her on CNN, telling the world about "an extraordinary woman, who loved life, and lived it on her own terms".

"Gloria Vanderbilt was an awesome woman who lived a life filled with incredible peaks and impossible obstacles", the Watch What Happens Live captioned a black and white shot of her on Instagram. She also pursued a career in the arts, working as a painter, actress, memoirist and novelist, and fashion designer.

In the 1930s, she was the subject of a high-profile custody case between her mother and her aunt.

Vanderbilt wrote several books throughout her life, including "It Seemed Important at the Time: A Romance Memoir", in 2004 which detailed her marriages and other men she dates - from Frank Sinatra to Marlon Brando - throughout her life.

"She spent a lot of time alone in her head during her life, but when the end came, she was not alone", he said. "Even at that point she fondly remembered us".

"That's when I really made a lot of money", the so-called Jeans Queen said, according to a 2014 article in the Financial Times. Vanderbilt had four sons: Leopold "Stan" Stokowski, Christopher Stokowski, Carter Cooper and Anderson Cooper.

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But the official statement alone wasn't the whole story here - and it certainly doesn't tell the tale of Vanderbilt's fantastic and memorable life in the public eye.

"I always thought of her as a visitor from another world, a traveler stranded here who had come from a distant star that burned out long ago" Cooper said. The court had to be cleared of onlookers and family members alike so the judge could learn from Vanderbilt herself what she wanted. Vanderbilt's lawyer had also become her "manager, adviser, agent, promoter", according the NY magazine story. If you were around in the early 1980s, it was pretty hard to miss the jeans she helped create.

Her son Anderson Cooper called the memoir "a terrific book; it's like an older Sex and the City". She was determined to make something of her life. I did know that.

Anderson Cooper is paying tribute to mother Gloria Vanderbilt.

The last few weeks every time I kissed her goodbye, I'd say, 'I love you, mom.' She would look at me and say, 'I love you, too.

In the clip, Cooper praised his mother as "the strongest person I've ever met" and reflected on her living "her entire life in the public eye".

In 2009, the 85-year-old Vanderbilt penned a new novel, Obsession: An Erotic Tale, a graphic tale about an architect's widow who discovers a cache of her husband's letters that reveal his secret sex life. What an extraordinary mom.

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