Gloria Vanderbilt, the iconic New York socialite, has died at the age of 95 after a battle with stomach cancer.
Tributes to the socialite were led by her son, CNN anchor Anderson Cooper on Monday.
‘She was ready. She was ready to go,’ Cooper said. He added that she was surrounded by ‘beauty and friends when it was time.’
She died at home on Monday morning, the ‘way she wanted’, her son said.
Gloria Vanderbilt, the New York socialite and Anderson Cooper’s mother, has died age 95. They are shown together in 2016
Cooper shared a video of his mother laughing in a hospital bed as part of his touching obituary on Monday
‘What an extraordinary life.
What an extraordinary mom and what an incredible woman,’ Cooper said through tears during an emotional obituary package which aired on CNN on Monday a little after 10am.
Cooper said that over the last few weeks, every time he left his mother he told her that he loved her.
‘She said, “I love you too. You know that.” And she was right. I’ve known it from the moment I was born and I’ll know it for the rest of my life,’ he said.
In a statement afterwards, he said: ‘Gloria Vanderbilt was an extraordinary woman, who loved life, and lived it on her own terms.
‘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.’
Vanderbilt is shown in 2012. A darling of New York society, she was an actress, writer, poet, designer and artist throughout her life
A 30-year-old Vanderbilt is shown in 1954. At the time, she had been married twice
Vanderbilt had four children from two husbands. She was married four times between 1941 and 1978 until the death of her fourth husband, Anderson’s father Wyatt Cooper.
He died after undergoing open-heart surgery.
In 1988, one of her sons, Carter, committed suicide by jumping from the terrace of her apartment in front of her.
The daughter of Reginald Claypoole Vanderbilt and Gloria Morgan Vanderbilt, she lived a glamorous, charmed life and was a darling of New York high society.
Her childhood involved a bitter and contentious custody battle between her mother and her late father’s sister when she was 10.
Reginald died when Gloria was just one, leaving her in the care of her mother, Gloria Morgan.
He was an alcoholic who died of cirrhosis of the liver and left behind him a mountain of debt which pillaged his wealth.
What was left, however, was a $5million trust fund for Gloria and her older half-sister to share.
Gloria Morgan, who was 20 at the time and therefore considered a minor, was not given access to it. Instead, the city issued her $4,000 monthly installments to care for her daughter but she used it on partying.
By 1934, when Gloria was 10, her aunt, Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, sued her mother for custody of her, claiming she was an unfit mother.
Vanderbilt is shown with her fourth husband, Wyatt Cooper and their sons, Anderson and Carter in 1972. Wyatt died six years later after undergoing heart surgery and Carter committed suicide in 1988
The trial exposed the dysfunction of one of America’s wealthiest and most high profile families at the time.
It also afforded the young Gloria the nickname of ‘poor little rich girl’. Whitney was awarded custody of her and raised her.
It was the beginning of her life in the public eye. Among her friends was the author Truman Capote who is rumored to have based the iconic Breakfast at Tiffany’s character, Holly Golightly, on her.
As a teenager, Gloria married Hollywood agent Pat DiCicco. The pair were together for four years before they divorced.
She was later link to a host of famous men including Frank Sinatra and Marlin Brando.
In 1945, when she was 21, she married her second husband, director Leopold Stokowski.
They had two children together; Stanley and Christopher.
Her third marriage was to producer Sidney Lumet in 1956. They were together until 1963.
Her fourth marriage, to Anderson’s father Wyatt, began four months after her divorce from Lumet.