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Gloria Vanderbilt dies at age 95

by Kyle Ziemnick
Posted 6/17/19, 01:00 pm

Gloria Vanderbilt, an heiress to the Vanderbilt family and designer of a famous line of jeans, died Monday after suffering from advanced stomach cancer. She was 95. Her son, CNN news anchor Anderson Cooper, announced the news in a first-person obituary. “What an extraordinary life. What an extraordinary mom,” Cooper said.

Vanderbilt, born in 1924, and her early life became a major news headline at age 10 when her single mother, Gloria Morgan Vanderbilt, and her paternal aunt Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney fought for her custody in what the press billed as “the trial of the century.” Her aunt won and Vanderbilt later became a model and Hollywood socialite.

Vanderbilt married and divorced three times before marrying author and screenwriter Wyatt Cooper in 1963. She called it her only happy marriage and it produced two sons: Carter and Anderson. The oldest, Carter, committed suicide at age 23 by jumping out of the family’s 14th-floor apartment. She also had two other sons with her second husband, conductor Leopold Stokowski, and three grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

In 1978, Vanderbilt introduced her Gloria Vanderbilt–branded jeans. The line generated more than $200 million in sales in 1980 alone. She became a writer and painter in her later years and continued to paint in her last few days.

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Kyle Ziemnick

Kyle is a graduate of the World Journalism Institute.

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