Journalist Anderson Cooper‘s beloved mother, Gloria Vanderbilt, has died at age 95 after a very advanced form of stomach cancer spread to other parts of her body. The CNN correspondent shared a statement that aired on CNN on Monday, June 17.
“Gloria Vanderbilt was an extraordinary woman who loved life and lived it on her own terms,” the 52-year-old gushed during his on-air eulogy. “She was a painter, a writer, a 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,” he continued. “She died this morning the way she wanted to, at home surrounded by family and friends.”
Gloria’s life was anything but ordinary. When she was just 18 months old, Gloria’s railroad magnate father, Reginald Vanderbilt, passed away — leaving her with a heated custody battle over her and her inheritance. “She lived her entire life in the public eye,” Anderson said of his mom during her on-air eulogy. Gloria eventually received her father’s inheritance after her aunt won custody and shared the trust.
Although her childhood was tumultuous, Gloria — who is also mom to Leopold Stanislaus Stokowski, 68, Christopher Stokowski, 67, and late son, Carter Vanderbilt Cooper — became a top international fashion model. In the 1970s, she hopped on the designer jeans trend and launched a company that manufactured denim jeans with her autograph stitched to one of the back pockets. The brunette beauty also created a fashion line that featured dresses, perfumes and accessories.
Gloria’s endeavors didn’t stop there, though. She also published a ton of novels and memoirs, including The Rainbow Comes and Goes: A Mother and Son on Life, Love, and Loss, which she wrote with Anderson in 2016. That same year, a two-hour documentary titled Nothing Left Unsaid: Gloria Vanderbilt & Anderson Cooper also aired — which told the story of Gloria’s life and her family history in the public eye.
Our thoughts are with Anderson and the rest of Gloria’s family during this difficult time.