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Gloria Vanderbilt: A fashion icon and an artist dies at the age of 95

She died at home with her friends and family by her side.

"Gloria Vanderbilt was an extraordinary woman who loved life and lived it in her own way," Cooper said in a statement. "She was a painter, writer and designer but also a mother, a wife and a remarkable friend.

"She was 95, but asks questions to one of her relatives and they will tell you: it's the youngest person they know – the coolest and the most modern."

Born in New York in 1924, Gloria Laura Morgan Vanderbilt grew up in France. His father, financier Reginald Vanderbilt, heir to a railway fortune, died when she was a baby.

Gloria has attracted media attention from an early age, dubbed "the poor little rich girl" in the midst of a battle for intense guarding between her mother and her father's extremely rich sister, Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney. His aunt prevailed in the legal proceedings.

"As a teenager, she tried to avoid the spotlight, but journalists and cameramen followed her everywhere," Cooper said. "She was determined to do something with her life, to make a name for herself and to find the love she desperately needed."

His first marriage was with Hollywood agent Pat DiCicco in 1941 when Vanderbilt was 17 years old.

At age 21, she took control of a $ 4.3 million trust fund that her father had left her. Two months later, she divorced DiCicco and remarried quickly – this time with the orchestra leader Leopold Stokowski, 63 years old at the time.

"I knew him for a week and I got married three weeks later," she told Cooper during an interview.

When asked if her friends found it strange that she had fallen in love with a man four decades old, she replied, "That did not matter."

An artist at heart

With Stokowski, she began to pursue her passions, starting with her works that she exhibited for the first time in 1948. She had two sons with Stokowski: Leopold Stokowski was born in 1950 and Christopher Stokowski in 1952.

In 1954, she made her stage debut in a production of the romantic drama "The Swan" at the Pocono Playhouse in Mountainhome, Pennsylvania. She published a poetry book the following year, the same year she divorced Stokowski.

She finds love in Hollywood with director and producer Sidney Lumet, who will win many Oscar nominations for such films as "12 Angry Men", "Dog Day Afternoon" and "Network".

They married in 1956. After their divorce in August, Vanderbilt was married for the last time on Christmas Eve this year. With the writer Wyatt Cooper, she had two other sons: Carter Cooper in 1965 and Anderson Cooper in 1967.

Vanderbilt found another avenue for his creativity in the years that followed. Highlighting her works of art, she creates fashion and textile styles that will allow her to receive the Neiman Marcus Fashion Award in 1969, before opening the door to a ready-to-wear line. -port in the mid-1970s.

Under her GV Ltd. brand, she would then sell millions of jeans with the logo of her swan.

"If you were in the early 80s, it was hard to miss the jeans that she helped create, but that was her public face – the one she learned to hide behind her in his childhood, "said Anderson Cooper. "Her personal identity, her real identity, was more fascinating and more beautiful than anything she showed to the public.

Losing a son, finding solace in words

The tragedy struck the family in 1988 when Carter Cooper, 23, jumped off the 14th floor terrace of his parents' apartment located in the Yorkville district of the Upper East Side in Manhattan. Carter had suffered from depression.

The following years were tough for Vanderbilt. In addition to dealing with the loss of a son, his lawyer and psychiatrist have spread millions. She pursued them successfully, but had to sell her Hamptons home and a five-story penthouse in Manhattan to pay off her debts.

In 1995, she moved in with Anderson Cooper and began working on a book, "A Mother's Story," published in 1996. The book described her grief after Carter's death. Despite her difficulties, she has always welcomed stories about her boy, she told People in an interview in 2016.

People will "start talking about him, then say," Oh, I'm sorry, "and I'll say," No, I love talking about him. More, more, more "- because it makes him alive and makes him more alive, it brings him closer and that means he has not been forgotten," she told the magazine, Anderson Cooper, its ratings.

The Jones Apparel Group has purchased Gloria Vanderbilt Apparel Corp. in 2002 for $ 138 million. Vanderbilt has reinstated his love for art and writing.

She exhibited 25 oil paintings in Manchester, Vermont, in 2007 and in 2012 she staged "Gloria Vanderbilt's World: Collages, Dream Boxes and Recent Paintings" at the New York Design Center. .

In 2004 she published a story of her love life, "It seemed important at the time: a romantic memory" and she published an erotic novel, "Obsession" in 2009. She was 85 years old when this last s & # 39 is directed to bookstores.

Her relationship with her now-world-famous CNN anchor, was commemorated in the 2016 HBO documentary, "Nothing is left unsaid: Gloria Vanderbilt & Anderson Cooper", which was featured for the first time at the Sundance Film Festival. Later that year, the two men published a memoir entitled "The Rainbow Comes and Comes: A Mother and Her Son on Life, Love and Loss".

Anderson Cooper said about her mother's extraordinary life: "I still considered her a visitor from another world, a traveler stranded here who was coming from a distant star that had burned for a long time. Always felt that my job was to protect her. "

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