Mostly Credited As: Gloria Vanderbilt
Birth Name: Gloria Laura Vanderbilt Morgan
Date Of Birth: February 20, 1924 (Age 91)
Country Of Birth: USA
Birth Place: New York City, New York
Gloria Laura Vanderbilt was born on February 20, 1924 in New York City. Her father was Reginald Claypoole Vanderbilt, the famous railroad heir. Her mother was Gloria Laura Mercedes Morgan. She is an only child, so when her father died while she was still a baby, she was the only heir to his four million dollar trust fund. Gloria’s mother, who was very young, was unprepared to handle little Gloria alone, and wasn’t particularly responsible with handling the trust fund for her daughter. Gloria’s aunt, Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, stepped in and became her legal guardian.
Gloria was mostly raised by the household staff, and perhaps to escape this stuffy lifestyle, moved to Hollywood as soon as she was old enough. She quickly married and divorced three times, seemingly unhappy in marriage, though she had two sons with her second husband. Her fourth husband was author Wyatt Emory Cooper, who she married in 1963, and they remained married until Cooper’s death in 1978. They had two sons, Carter Vanderbilt Cooper and Anderson Hays Cooper (who is a television reporter for CNN).
She studied art and began designing a line of linens, china, glassware and flatware, which later led to designing eyeglasses, perfume, and clothing in the 1970s. She is perhaps best known for the designer jeans that carried her name and the Gloria Vanderbilt swan logo on them.
Gloria faced tragedy when her son, Carter, committed suicide in 1988. He jumped out the fourteenth floor of their apartment building right in front of her, which she feels was caused by a medication he was taking. She wrote a book about his death, called Black Night, White Night - A Mother's Story.