Anderson Cooper has paid tribute to his late mother, fashion designer Gloria Vanderbilt.
News of the creative’s passing was announced by Cooper during a live CNN broadcast on Monday (June 17, 2019), with the anchor revealing Vanderbilt had died at her New York home at the age of 95 after losing her battle with advanced stomach cancer.
“What an extraordinary life. What an extraordinary mom. What an incredible woman,” Cooper said during his moving on-air speech. Describing her as the “strongest person” he’d ever known, he added: “Her private self, her real self – that was more fascinating and lovely than anything she shared (with) the public.”
Calling her a “visitor from another world”, Cooper concluded: “Gloria Vanderbilt died as she lived: on her own terms.”
After Vanderbilt’s death was announced publicly, leading names from the fashion world came forward to pay tribute to the heiress, with designer Donna Karan calling her contemporary “an amazing woman on so many levels” and Ralph Lauren labeling her a “timeless beauty”.
Vanderbilt began modeling for Harper’s Bazaar at the age of 15, and two years later, she moved to Hollywood, dating high-profile stars including movie mogul Howard Hughes, Frank Sinatra, Errol Flynn, and Marlon Brando.
She partnered with clothing-maker Mohan Murjani to sell designer jeans in the ’70s and ’80s, and later branched out into accessories and homeware through her company, Gloria Concepts.
She is survived by her three sons – Anderson, who she shared with the late magazine editor Wyatt Cooper, and Stan and Christopher, from her marriage to husband Leopold Stokowski.