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Gloria Vanderbilt, mother of CNN's Anderson Cooper, dies at 95

Gloria Vanderbilt - an author, actress, artist, fashion designer and socialite - has died at the age of 95, according to her son, CNN's Anderson Cooper.

Ms Vanderbilt died at home on Monday morning with friends and family at her side.

Anderson Cooper said in a statement: "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."

Gloria Laura Morgan Vanderbilt was born in New York in 1924 and grew up in France. She was the focus of media attention at an early age after her father, financier Reginald Vanderbilt, the heir to a railroad fortune, died when she was a baby.

Young Gloria was dubbed "the poor little rich girl" by the media amid an intense custody battle between her mother and her father's enormously wealthy sister, Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney. The latter prevailed in court proceedings.

Her son, Anderson Cooper said: "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."

She was the mother of four sons and wife to four men. Her relationships included late photographer and filmmaker Gordon Parks, writer Roald Dahl, movie star Marlon Brando and singer/actor Frank Sinatra, billionaire Howard Hughes. She suffered double tragedies when her fourth husband died suddenly and one of their sons died.


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