Why Gloria Vanderbilt’s Youngest Son Won’t Be Inheriting Her Fortune

Gloria Vanderbilt, fashion icon and heiress of one of America's best-known wealthy families, passed away on June 17, 2019. What will happen to her substantial fortune remains to be seen—but we do know that her youngest son won't be receiving any of it.

gloria vanderbiltPhoto: David Buchan/Variety/Shutterstock

Gloria Vanderbilt passes away, aged 95

The passing of fashion pioneer and socialite Gloria Vanderbilt has led to touching tributes and kind words, both from those who knew her personally and those who simply adored her clothing. But it’s also led to speculation about her fortune. In addition to the $5 million trust fund she inherited as a young woman, Vanderbilt also headed her own profitable clothing label. And the questions about her fortune are especially prevalent because one of her children is a pretty high-profile figure himself.

Vanderbilt’s youngest son from her fourth marriage is successful CNN news anchor Anderson Cooper. But Cooper won’t be following in his mother’s footsteps and receiving a large sum of money now that his mother has passed. In fact, he won’t receive any money from her at all.

This isn’t a bombshell revelation though, unlike these shocking family secrets. Cooper claims he’s always known that he wouldn’t be inheriting money from his mother; in a 2014 appearance on The Howard Stern Show, Cooper said, “My mom’s made it clear to me that there’s no trust fund, there’s none of that.” He claimed that his mother valued the money she made on her own far beyond her own inheritance. He said that his mother had never discussed with him where the money actually would go, but that he knew he himself wouldn’t be getting it “from the time [he] was a kid.”

And Cooper says that he much prefers it that way. “I don’t believe in inheriting money,” he told Stern in the same interview. “I think it’s an initiative sucker, I think it’s a curse.” The knowledge that he had a “pot of gold” waiting for him from his mother would have stunted his motivation as a young man, he believes. And, of course, Cooper is pretty financially well off himself, so it’s not as if receiving money from his mother would make or break his financial well-being. Either way, though, he’s made it clear that he’s perfectly content without his late mother’s money.

If his words while she was alive—and the moving eulogy he gave after her passing—are any indication, there was no ill will between Cooper and his mother. “My mom… is the coolest person I know. She really is,” he said on The Howard Stern Show. It seems like Cooper and Vanderbilt’s positive mother-son relationship was more valuable to either of them than money—and we certainly can’t argue with that.

Next, learn about the ironic “failures” of wildly successful people.

Popular Videos

Reader's Digest
Originally Published on Reader's Digest