Anderson Cooper has opened up about how the delivery of his son Wyatt impressed him to pen a book about his family’s historical past after years of not realizing a lot about the Vanderbilt dynasty.
The CNN anchor, whose mom was socialite-turned-designer Gloria Vanderbilt, teamed up with historian and novelist Katherine Howe to co-write The Rise and Fall of an American Dynasty, which is slated for launch on September 21.
‘In some methods I needed this to be a letter to my son,’ Cooper, 54, informed People journal of his motivation to publish the historic book.
Candid: Anderson Cooper, 54, opened up about how the delivery of his son Wyatt impressed him to write down about his family in his new book Vanderbilt: The Rise and Fall of an American Dynasty
Cover story: The CNN anchor covers the newest problem of People journal, by which he talks about his family’s ‘painful’ previous
The journalist welcomed his one-year-old son Wyatt Morgan Cooper through surrogate on April 27, 2020, and named after him after his father, Wyatt Cooper, who died throughout coronary heart surgical procedure when he was 10.
History: Cooper co-wrote his upcoming book with historian Katherine Howe. It’s slated for launch on September 21
‘My dad wrote a book earlier than he died about his family rising up in Mississippi. And as a result of he died after I was so younger, rather a lot that I do know of him got here from that book,’ he defined in the cowl interview. ‘I needed to write down a letter to Wyatt about this loopy and strange a part of his family’s previous.’
The Vanderbilts have been as soon as considered one of the strongest dynasties in the US after having risen to prominence and wealth throughout the Gilded Age.
Cooper’s great-great-great-grandfather Cornelius Vanderbilt amassed a fortune by way of his transport and railroad empires.
Cornelius was the richest man in American when he died in 1877. He left behind an estimated $100 million that was equal to $2.5 billion in immediately’s forex, however it was later squandered by his heirs.
‘As a child, my mother did not actually discuss about her childhood. It was very painful for her. So I grew up not likely realizing a lot about the Vanderbilts, and the little I did know was that they have been very rich they usually had constructed monumental palaces, and a few of these have been museums, however a whole lot of them had disappeared,’ Cooper mentioned.
Looking again: Cooper admitted he did not know a lot about the Vanderbilts rising up as a result of his mom Gloria (pictured in 2010) did not actually discuss about her childhood
Family: Gloria was the daughter of Reginald and Gloria Morgan Vanderbilt (pictured). Her great-great-grandfather Cornelius Vanderbilt was as soon as the richest man in America
Looking again: Gloria (pictured in 1938) grew to become generally known as ‘the poor little wealthy lady’ due to a extremely publicized custody trial between her mom and her father’s sister Gertrude Whitney
‘It was at all times this query in my thoughts: How, in 100 years, does a family go from having more cash than anyone else in the world to having all their homes torn down as a result of no one can afford them?’
Gloria, who spent her complete life in the public eye, handed away at age 95 on June 17, 2019, after a brief battle with abdomen most cancers.
Cooper was going by way of bins in her condominium after her dying when he discovered plenty of family letters from kinfolk he had by no means met.
‘There have been very private letters from her grandmother and her aunt and her mom, and all these individuals who I did not actually know, who I’d by no means met, however whose voices immediately sort of got here alive in these letters,’ he mentioned.
‘It was actually fascinating to begin to consider them as human beings and never simply historic characters or individuals I’d learn about, individuals you possibly can learn about in historical past books.’
Parents: Cooper was raised by his mom Gloria and father, author Wyatt Cooper (pictured in 1970)
Looking again: Cooper’s son was named Wyatt Cooper after his father, who died when he was 10 years previous. He is pictured with his dad and mom and brother Carter in 1972
Tragedy: Cooper’s brother Carter (pictured in 1976) died by suicide in 1988 when he was 23 years previous
Born in 1924, Cooper’s mom Gloria was the solely youngster of Reginald Claypoole Vanderbilt and his second spouse Gloria Morgan Vanderbilt.
Her father was an alcoholic who died of cirrhosis of the liver when she was one, leaving her in the care of her mom Gloria Morgan.
Reginald left behind him a mountain of debt that pillaged his wealth, however he did set up a $5 million belief fund for Gloria to share along with her older half-sister Cathleen Vanderbilt, his solely youngster with his first spouse Cathleen Neilson.
Gloria Morgan, who was 20 at the time of her husband’s dying and due to this fact thought of a minor, was not given entry to it. Instead, the metropolis issued her $4,000 month-to-month installments to take care of her daughter however she used it frivolously.
As a toddler, Gloria lived in France and was unaware of the Vanderbilts or the belief fund she was set to inherit at age 21. She was predominantly cared for by her beloved nanny Emma Sullivan Kieslich nanny, whom she known as ‘Dodo.’
By 1934, when Gloria was 10, her aunt, Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, sued her mom for custody of her, claiming she was an unfit mom. The trial uncovered the dysfunction of considered one of America’s wealthiest and most excessive profile households at the time.
Whitney accused Gloria Morgan of being a lesbian. In flip, she claimed Whitney’s artwork, which was filled with nudism, would affect her daughter.
The tabloids feasted on the courtroom battle, dubbing it the ‘trial of the century’ and giving the younger Gloria the nickname ‘poor little wealthy lady.’
In the finish, Gertrude was given custody of the youngster and the choose fired Dodo. Years later, Gloria recalled her heartache at the resolution.
‘She was my mom, my father, my every little thing. She was my lifeline she was all I had,’ she informed her son in an interview years in the past.
As she grew up, she socialized in Manhattan and charmed movie and play administrators till she made connections in Hollywood the place she would discover three of her 4 husbands.
Her first boyfriend when she arrived in Hollywood at the age of 17 was one if the greatest stars of all time Errol Flynn.
In 1941, when she was at the age of 17, Gloria married Hollywood agent Pat DiCicco, a choice she immediately knew was a mistake, in keeping with Cooper. The pair have been collectively for 4 years earlier than they divorced.
She married her second husband, the conductor Leopold Stokowski, in 1945, when she was 21. He was 63 and he or she described it as love at first sight, regardless of the age hole.
They had two kids collectively, Stanley and Christopher, and have been married for 10 years earlier than divorcing. She was later linked to a number of well-known males, together with Frank Sinatra and Marlon Brando.
In 1956, she married her third husband, the well-known director and producer Sidney Lumet. They have been collectively till 1963.
Her fourth marriage, to Cooper’s father Wyatt, started 4 months after her divorce from Lumet. Together, they’d Cooper and his brother Carter, who was two years older.
While elevating her kids, Gloria acted on Broadway and in movies, wrote poetry and novels, and produced wildly common artwork.
In the Nineteen Seventies, she made a reputation for herself in the vogue trade along with her line of denim — Gloria Vanderbilt Jeans — which have been emblazoned with a swan and her title.
But her life was not with out tragedy.
Ten years after the dying of Cooper’s father Wyatt in 1978, her son Carter leaped to his dying in entrance of her from her condominium terrace.
Gloria remained shut with Cooper and Stanley all through their lives, however she and Christopher grew to become estranged in 1978 when he accused her therapist of meddling in his love life.
The mom of 4 left the majority of her property to Cooper, who reportedly inherited all of his mom’s belongings aside from her co-op condominium at 30 Beekman Place in Manhattan, which went to Stanley. She didn’t go away something in her will for her estranged son Christopher.