Tribute: Gloria Vanderbilt, the socialite, designer and painter, mother of Anderson Cooper, dies on 17 June 2019, aged 95
Gloria Vanderbilt, the American heiress, socialite, artist, author, actress, fashion designer, died on June, 2019, at her own home in New York, at the age of 95.
Born on 20 February, 1924 in New York, into the wealthy Vanderbilt family, Gloria lost her father, the railroad heir Reginald Claypoole Vanderbilt (1880–1925) at age of two, and she lived with her mother Gloria Mogan((1904–1965), mostly in France, until her paternal aunt, Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney (1875-1942) thought little Gloria's mother was unfit as custodian of her niece, thus a very publicized and scandalous custodian trial began, resulting in Gertrude winning the custody of Gloria Vanderbilt.
Although affected by this trial of century, Gloria Vanderbilt grew up to be a heathy woman of intelligence and talent. She started to model at age of 15, and in her early 20s, she started acting both on stage and in TV. She also painted and designed textile as well as glassware.
But it was fashion design that gained her international acclaim and commercial success. She first launched jeans bearing her name with her business partner, then launched dresses, blouses, sheets, shoes, leather goods, liqueurs, and accessories, all on her own, and sold all of them later for huge profit.
Then she wrote.
With a life fully lived -- a priviledged birth, traumatic childhood, a variety of career, four husbands all related to world of art and drama(a Hollywood talent agent, a conductor, a director and a writer), numerous lovers from Howard Hughes to Frank Sinatra, together with challenging and tragic experiences as a mother: one of her sons Anderson Cooper, the prominent CNN tv anchor had decided as a teenager to embrace his different sexuality when being gay was not widely accepted as it is today, another son Carter Cooper killed himself in front of her -- Gloria Vanderbilt seemed having a lot to tell, and she did, in five volumes of memoirs and three novels.
It seemed she has told everything she could about her life, her love, her romances and her son's tragic suicide, until a few years ago, in 2016, her son Anderson Cooper started to talk to her, in a different way, more daring and intimate, like he had never done before. Their conversation grew into a new book by mother and son.
Behind the veil of those lucky private privileges and the distorted public childhood, was an extraordinary woman, who had been searching for love and beauty, who was passionate about growing and creating, and who had finally acquired wisdom about love, joy, loss, death, and about life and living, about what we leave behind when we leave.