How Did Gloria Vanderbilt Die? New Details On The Death Of Anderson Cooper's Mother At 95

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How Did Gloria Vanderbilt Die? New Details On The Death Of Anderson Cooper's Mother At 95

While we enjoy watching news anchors and journalists give their own takes on the world around us, seldom do we get a peek into their own personal lives. But today, the news world mourns the death of Gloria Vanderbilt, Anderson Cooper’s mother, who passed away at the age of 95.

But how did Gloria Vanderbilt die? We assume immediately that because of her age, she passed away from just that. But that wasn’t the case here, as there was still so much more she wanted to do with her life.

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Cooper announced his mother’s passing this morning, and CNN aired his heartwarming tribute to her.

In the video, he said, “Earlier this month, we had to take her to the hospital. That’s where she learned she had very advanced cancer in her stomach and that it had spread. When the doctor told her she had cancer, she was silent for a while, and then she said, ‘Well, it’s like that old song: Show me the way to get out of this world, because that’s where everything is.’”

According to the American Cancer Society, stomach cancer mostly affects older people, with the average age of diagnosis being 65. Women have a 1 in 154 chance of being diagnosed. But the fact that Vanderbilt wasn’t diagnosed until much later in life just goes to show how she lived her life.

Said Cooper, “Love is what she believed in more than anything. Gloria Vanderbilt died as she lived: on her own terms. What an extraordinary life. What an extraordinary mom. And what an incredible woman.”

Vanderbilt grew up in the spotlight, the daughter of Reginald Vanderbilt, a railroad tycoon, who died when she was a baby. From an early age, the media dubbed her “the poor little rich girl,” particularly when her aunt, Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, sued her mother for custody of Gloria.

In Cooper’s video, he revealed, “As a teenager she tried to avoid the spotlight, but reporters and cameramen followed her everywhere. She was determined to make something of her life, determined to make a name for herself, and find the love she so desperately needed.”

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And she did just that. She was 17 when she married her first husband, Pat DiCicco, in 1941, and several years later when she turned 21, she gained control of the $4.3 million trust fund her father left her. She divorced DiCicco and remarried conductor Leopold Stokowski. She would remarry two more times, but that didn’t stop her from pursuing her passions.

Vanderbilt was most known for her prominence in the fashion world in the 1970s and 1980s when she began designing jeans. But aside from her mark on the fashion world, she was also an actress, a poet, and an artist.

While these are all wonderful accomplishments, Gloria saw her children as her greatest ones. Despite her son Carter’s death in 1988, she revealed that she believed in staying positive: “I believe that we have to cherish the pain we experience, as we cherish the joy. Because without one there wouldn’t be the other, and it’s what makes us alive. And I think that’s very, very important.”

Just three years ago, Vanderbilt and Cooper wrote a memoir together called The Rainbow Comes and Goes: A Mother and Son Talk About Life, Love, and Loss, a book that delved into their strong bond and life together.

As Cooper told People Magazine at the time, “When my mom turned 91, I wanted to use the time that we have left in our lives to get to know each other as adults. I realized I didn’t want there to be anything left unsaid with my mom, I didn’t want there to be questions that I still had about who she was and what her life was like. And I didn’t want her to have questions about me as an adult.”

And there wasn’t anything left unsaid.

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Samantha Maffucci is an editor for YourTango who focuses on writing trending news and entertainment pieces. In her free time, you can find her obsessing about cats, wine, and all things Vanderpump Rules.