Gloria Vanderbilt is currently the only prominent descendant, with the Vanderbilt name, of the original Cornelius Vanderbilt, the prominent and extremely successful shipping and railroad tycoon of the early nineteenth century. Gloria’s father was Reginald Claypoole Vanderbilt [1880-1925], who was a grandson of William Henry Vanderbilt [1821-1885], who in turn was the son of the original Cornelius and who expanded the Vanderbilt holdings by still further expanding the railroad business controlled by the family.
Gloria became an accomplished artist, actress and developer and promoter of a line of designer clothing and related products, frequently using designs that she initiated and developed on the basis of her artistic skills. She initially adapted her own art to be used for product designs and licensed these to Hallmark, the prominent greeting card producer, and to Bloomcraft, a textile manufacturer.
Gloria later also used her artistic skills to develop designs for linens, china, glassware and flatware. Based on her success on the above ventures, she subsequently was able to license her name and designs for a line of fashion eye glasses, perfume and clothing. The above approach then enabled her to launch her own line of designer jeans with her own brand name, the “Gloria Vanderbilt Designer Jeans”.
The above success in her several business ventures was aided by Gloria’s ability to keep herself prominently in the news. The name Vanderbilt itself is a big help in that respect. Gloria was also the subject of a custody battle when she was a child. Her father passed away when Gloria was only a year old and Gloria inherited four million dollars which was put in a trust to be managed by her mother. Her mother was Gloria Laura Mercedes Morgan [1904-1965]. However, Gloria’s aunt, Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, felt that Gloria’s mother was not fit to raise her own daughter, and definitely not fit to manage the four million dollar trust.
As aresult of the above a custody battle ensued that was eventually settled so that Gloria’s aunt, Gertrude, became her custodian. However, litigation continued for years until Gloria became old enough to decide for herself. During this entire time period of about 15 years, Gloria’s name was in the news, and her name and persona became a household name, at least in New York City, where the custody battle went on and on.
Upon reaching adulthood, Gloria was able to keep her name in the news because of her marriage adventures, or perhaps ventures. She was only seventeen, in 1941, when she married her first husband, Pasquale DiCicco. The marriage lasted four years and was dissolved through divorce in 1945. In the same year, 1945, she married the famous conductor, Leopold Stokowski. The couple had two sons, Leopold S. Stokowski  and Christopher Stokowski . The second marriage was dissolved in the same year their second son was born, in 1955. In the following year, in 1956, Gloria married the film director Sydney Lumet. This marriage lasted until 1963 when the couple divorced. The couple had no children.
Gloria’s fourth marriage took place the following year, in 1964. She married the author Wyatt Emery Cooper. This marriage produced two children, Carter Vanderbilt Cooper [1965-1988] and Anderson Cooper . The first son, Carter committed suicide under mysterious conditions when he was only 23 years old. The second son, Anderson Cooper, is the prominent and successful television commentator, reporter and anchorman of the CNN television network. The Cooper marriage, Gloria’s fourth, lasted the longest and was probably her happiest. She lost her husband in 1978, when he passed away.
Gloria Vanderbilt was a public persona throughout her life. She currently is still active. In midyear 2005, she was interviewed by CBS to discuss her latest book, a romance memoir. That year was also the year in which she turned eighty. The 2005 book was not her only book. Previously she had published, “Woman to Woman”, in 1979, “Once Upon A Time: A True Story”, in 1985, “Black Knight, White Knight”, a memoir in 1987, “Never Say Goodbye”, in 1989, and “The Memory Book of Starr Faithful”, in 1994.
Gloria Vanderbilt, throughout her life, was not only a colorful but also a very successful personality who has made many contributions to the society in which she lived and thrived.
Gloria Vanderbilt, Wikipedia
Gloria Vanderbilt, www.nndb.com/people/971/000022905
Gloria Vanderbilt’s Many Loves, www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/11/05/sunday/main654006.shtml
At the end of the bio profile of Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt is an extensive description how Gloria fits in with the other prominent Vanderbilts who preceded or followed her. Please refer to it for further understanding of the Vanderbilt family tree.
E-BOOKS AVAILABLE FROM AMAZON; GOOGLE: Kindle Store Pegels
PROMINENT DUTCH AMERICANS, CURRENT AND HISTORIC
EIGHT PROMINENT DUTCH AMERICAN FAMILIES: THE ROOSEVELTS, VANDERBILTS AND OTHERS, 2015
FIFTEEN PROMINENT DUTCH AMERICAN FAMILIES: THE VAN BURENS, KOCH BROTHERS, VOORHEES AND OTHERS, 2015
PROMINENT DUTCH AMERICANS IN U.S. GOVERNMENT LEADERSHIP POSITIONS, 2015
DUTCH PEGELS INVOLVED IN WARS
ALLIED EUROPE CAMPAIGN—1944/1945: TACTICAL MISTAKES, 2017
THE SECOND WORLD WAR IN THE NETHERLANDS: MEMOIRS, 2017
FRENCH REVOLUTION, NAPOLEON AND RUSSIAN WAR OF 1812, 2015