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Socialite, Heiress, Blue Jean Designer Gloria Vanderbilt Dies At 95

Socialite, Heiress, Blue Jean Designer Gloria Vanderbilt Dies At 95

Gloria Vanderbilt, who built a famous line of designer jeans in the 1970s in between a tabloid-chronicled life as a child heiress and late-life success as an author with her TV anchor son, died Monday. 

Vanderbilt’s death was reported in an on-air obituary by her son, CNN anchor Anderson Cooper. She was 95 and had advanced stomach cancer. 

Vanderbilt Heiress

Vanderbilt was born in 1924 in the fading gilded age of industrial empire barons, the great-great-granddaughter of financier Cornelius Vanderbilt.

She was famous even as a child, called the “poor little rich girl” by the tabloids that covered a custody battle over her in the 1930s when Vanderbilt’s mother lost custody of her to her aunt.

Blue Jean Queen

After decades as a society girl and relationships and marriages that were splashed across tabloid pages, Vanderbilt had a second act in the 1970s as her name became famous in connection with her fashion brand.

Her company started with scarves but was best-known for tight-fitting jeans that made Vanderbilt’s name a household one once again. The brand and its logo, featuring a swan, was on not just apparel, but perfume, shoes, accessories and other products.

"Gloria Vanderbilt was an extraordinary woman, who loved life, and lived it on her own terms," Cooper said in a statement.

"She 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."

Among the socialite’s husbands was the late director Sidney Lumet, to whom she was married in the 1950s and early 1960s. She married her fourth husband, author, screenwriter and actor Wyatt Emory Cooper — Anderson's father — in 1963. She was linked romantically to other famous Hollywood figures, her son noted in a 2016 USA Today story.

She “was dating Errol Flynn at 17, and (later) Marlon Brando and Howard Hughes and Frank Sinatra,” Cooper said. “Compared to my mom, I've led a pretty tame existence."

A Mother-And-Son Book 

Vanderbilt's story continued late in life when she and Cooper co-authored “The Rainbow Comes and Goes: A Mother and Son on Life, Loss and Love,” which was a bestseller in 2016.

Another son of Vanderbilt and Wyatt Emory Cooper, Carter Vanderbilt Cooper, died by suicide in 1988. Wyatt Emory Cooper died in 1978.

Related Links:

What Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Cornelius Vanderbilt And Others Have In Common

PVH Corp Analysts: Tommy Hilfiger Is Hot, Calvin Klein Is Not

Public domain photo via Wikimedia. 

Posted-In: Anderson Cooper Gloria VanderbiltNews Best of Benzinga


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