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Encyclopedia > Gloria Vanderbilt
Gloria Vanderbilt, photographed by Carl Van Vechten, 1958.
Gloria Vanderbilt, photographed by Carl Van Vechten, 1958.

Gloria Laura Vanderbilt (born February 20, 1924) is an American artist, actress, and socialite most noted as a spokeswoman for designer blue jeans. Gloria Vanderbilt, photographed by Carl Van Vechten in 1958. ... Gloria Vanderbilt, photographed by Carl Van Vechten in 1958. ... Photographic self-portrait by Carl Van Vechten, 1934 Carl Van Vechten (June 17, 1880 – December 21, 1964) was an American writer and photographer who was a patron of the Harlem Renaissance and the literary executor of Gertrude Stein. ... Year 1958 (MCMLVIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... February 20 is the 51st day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... 1924 (MCMXXIV) was a leap year starting on Tuesday (link will take you to calendar). ...


Early life and heiress status

Vanderbilt is the only child of railroad heir Reginald Claypoole Vanderbilt (1880-1925) and his second wife, Gloria Laura Mercedes Morgan (1904-1965). Gloria Laura Mercedes Morgan Vanderbilt (August 23, 1904–February 13, 1965) was a socialite best known as the mother of fashion designer and artist Gloria Vanderbilt. ...

She became heiress to a four million dollar trust fund upon her father's death of alcohol poisoning when she was just 15 months old. The rights to control this trust fund while Vanderbilt was a minor belonged to her mother, also named Gloria. Herself a child bride, the elder Gloria was completely unprepared for the adult responsibilities as a widow of means. She travelled to and from Paris for years, dragging young Gloria with her. They were accompanied by a nanny named Dodo who would play a tumultuous part in young Gloria's life, and her mother's twin sister Thelma, who was the mistress of The Prince of Wales during this time . As a result of the frequent spending, her finances were scrutinized by young Gloria's aunt Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney. Mrs. Whitney, a sculptor and philanthropist, wanted custody of the young heiress and soon a famous and scandalous trial became the lead story in 1934. Testimony was heard depicting the mother as an unfit parent, much of which was conjecture and hearsay, but as the widow Vanderbilt was mostly concerned about her use of the trust and not the particular care of her daughter, the court battle was easily lost and Little Gloria became the ward of her Aunt Gertrude. Thelma, Viscountess Furness (August 23, 1904 – January 29, 1970), born Thelma Morgan, was the mistress who preceded Wallis Simpson in the affections of Edward VIII of the United Kingdom. ... Edward VIII (Edward Albert Christian George Andrew Patrick David Windsor; later The Prince Edward, Duke of Windsor; 23 June 1894 – 28 May 1972) was King of Great Britain, Ireland, the British Dominions beyond the Seas, and Emperor of India from the death of his father, George V (1910–36), on... Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney (January 9, 1875 - April 18, 1942) was a member of the prominent United States Vanderbilt family. ...

Litigation continued, however. Little Gloria's mother was forced to live on a drastically reduced portion of her daughter's trust. Visitation was also closely watched to ensure that the elder Gloria did not exert any undue influence upon her daughter with her supposedly "raucous" lifestyle.

Marriages, relationships and children

Gloria was raised amidst luxury at her aunt Gertrude's mansion, surrounded by cousins her age who lived in houses circling the vast estate.

Gloria went to the best schools and was raised to be a lady by a large staff and no one else. As years passed, contact with her mother grew sparse. When Gloria came of age and took control of her trust fund, she cut her mother off entirely, eventually gradually helping out in bits and pieces. Her mother scarcely recovered from the trial and died in obscurity in 1965.

Without a single day of preparation for her inheritance Gloria decided to prove her independence by buying a mink coat and running off to Hollywood where she married agent Pasquale DiCicco ("Pat" DiCicco) in 1941; they divorced in 1945. Species Mustela vison Mustela vison evergladensis Mustela lutreola Mustela macrodon A mink is any of several furry, dark-colored, semi-aquatic, carnivorous mammals of the family Mustelidae, which also includes the weasels and the otters. ...

Her second marriage, to conductor Leopold Stokowski on April 21, 1945, produced two sons, Leopold Stanislaus Stokowski, born in 1950, and Christopher Stokowski, born in 1952; they divorced in October, 1955. Leopold Stokowski (born Antoni Stanisław Bolesławowicz April 18, 1882 in London, England, died September 13, 1977 in Nether Wallop, England) was the conductor of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the NBC Symphony Orchestra, Hollywood Bowl Orchestra and the Symphony of the Air. ... April 21 is the 111th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (112th in leap years). ... Year 1945 (MCMXLV) was a common year starting on Monday (the link is to a full 1945 calendar). ...

On August 28, 1956, she married director Sidney Lumet; they divorced in August, 1963. August 28 is the 240th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (241st in leap years), with 125 days remaining. ... Year 1956 (MCMLVI) was a leap year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Portrait of Sidney Lumet, May 7, 1939. ...

She married her fourth husband, author Wyatt Emory Cooper in 1964. They had two sons, Carter Vanderbilt Cooper, in 1965, and future CNN reporter Anderson Cooper, born in 1967. Wyatt Cooper died in 1978 during open heart surgery in New York City. Carter Cooper committed suicide on July 22, 1988 after succumbing to the adverse effects of an asthma medication (though in addition, it has been theorized that he was sleepwalking and not in his usual state) by jumping from the family's 14th floor apartment as his mother watched. Miss Vanderbilt insists that the effects of the medication caused her son's suicide. Wyatt Emory Cooper (Quitman, Mississippi) September 1, 1927 - 1977 was an author and screenwriter. ... The Cable News Network, commonly known as CNN, is a major cable television network founded in 1980 by Ted Turner. ... Anderson Hayes Cooper (born June 3, 1967) is a television journalist currently working for the CNN television network. ...

Professional career and later life

Vanderbilt studied art at the Art Students League of New York. She became known for her artwork, giving one-woman shows of oil paintings, watercolors, and pastels. This artwork was adapted and licensed, starting about 1968, by Hallmark (a manufacturer of paper products) and by Bloomcraft (a textile manufacturer), and Vanderbilt began designing specifically for linens, china, glassware and flatware. The Art Students League of New York is an art school founded in 1875. ... A hallmark is an official marking made by a trusted party, guardians of the craft or nowadays by an assay office, on items made of precious metals (platinum, gold and silver) that guarantees a certain purity of the metal. ...

During the 1970s, she licensed the use of her name on a line of fashion eyeglasses, perfume and clothing. (Initially, her involvement in clothing consisted of putting her name (in place of the previous brand name, "Lucky Pierre") on a line of blouses produced by the Murjani Corporation). In 1979, Murjani proposed launching a line of designer jeans carrying Vanderbilt's brand name; they were more tight fitting than other jeans of the day, with the heiress's name embossed in script on the back pocket. The 1970s decade refers to the years from 1970 to 1979, inclusive. ... Designer jeans are jeans that were marketed as fashion and status symbols. ...

Vanderbilt also appeared in a series of television ads promoting her products. Her designer label has flourished, with the Gloria Vanderbilt "swan" logo eventually appearing on dresses and perfume as well.

Author of:

  • Once upon a Time: A True Story
  • A Mother's Story, which recounts the story of her son Carter's death
  • It Seemed Important at the Time: A Romance Memoir

Subject of:

  • Trio: Oona Chaplin, Carol Matthau, Gloria Vanderbilt: Portrait of an Intimate Friendship by Aram Saroyan
  • Little Gloria... Happy at Last by Barbara Goldsmith
  • That Vanderbilt Woman by Philip Van Rensselaer

Fashion Designers:

  • House of Mainbocher


  • Gloria Vanderbilt


External links

  Results from FactBites:
Gloria Laura Mercedes Morgan-Vanderbilt - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (584 words)
Born in Lucerne, Switzerland, Gloria Laura Mercedes Morgan was the daughter of Chilean/American Laura Delphine Kilpatrick and her husband, Harry Hays Morgan, an American diplomat who served as the U.S. consul in Buenos Aires, Argentina and in Brussels, Belgium.
Following the death of her husband, Gloria Morgan Vanderbilt became the administrator of a $3 million trust left to their daughter, and spent the better part of the next six years living in Paris, France enjoying the good life with rich friends at the various chic resort places across Europe.
Influenced by reports by private detectives as well as family servants, members of the powerful Vanderbilt family believed that Gloria was a bad influence and neglectful of her daughter and a custody battle erupted that made national headlines in 1934.
Gloria Vanderbilt - definition of Gloria Vanderbilt in Encyclopedia (465 words)
Gloria Laura Vanderbilt (born February 20 or February 24, 1924) is a member of the prominent United States Vanderbilt family and an accomplished artist, actress, and socialite most noted as a spokeswoman for designer blue jeans.
The only child of American railroad heir Reginald Claypoole Vanderbilt (1880-1925) and his wife, Gloria Laura Mercedes Morgan (1904-1965), a beautiful Swiss-born socialite of American, Chilean, Spanish, and Irish descent, little Gloria became heiress to a four million dollar trust fund on her father's death when she was 2 years old.
She is a great-granddaughter of Union general Hugh Judson Kilpatrick and a niece of Thelma Morgan, Viscountess Furness, the mistress who preceded Wallis Simpson in the affections of Edward VIII of the United Kingdom.
  More results at FactBites »



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