Gloria Vanderbilt may have believed in inheritance after all.
When the fashion icon, writer, and activist—and the great-great-great-granddaughter of railroad tycoon Cornelius Vanderbilt—died June 17, there was a great deal of speculation about whether she would leave her fortune to charity or to her sons. While passing on wealth to your family is common, both Vanderbilt and her son Anderson Cooper viewed her wealth as a barrier to hard work and achievement, and money had caused Vanderbilt a great deal of grief as a young girl. “I’m not knocking inherited money,” the socialite told the New York Times in 1985. “But the money I’ve made has a reality to me that inherited money doesn’t have.”
As we reported last month, in 2014 at least, Cooper didn’t expect to receive much from his mother’s estate. “My mom’s made clear to me that there’s no trust fund. There’s none of that,” he said in a radio interview with Howard Stern in 2014, going on to call inheritance a curse, “an initiative sucker,” and saying a vast family fortune is a barrier to hard work.
Turns out that Cooper will have to learn to live with the family curse, as his mother reportedly left him the vast majority of her estimated $200 million estate. Page Six reports that according to her will, filed Monday in Manhattan Surrogate’s Court, Vanderbilt left her eldest son, Leopold “Stan” Stokowski, her Midtown Manhattan apartment, left her estranged middle son Chris Stokowski out of the will entirely, and left “all the rest” of her property to Cooper.
It’s unclear exactly how much “all the rest” comprises, and Vanderbilt may have left a good chunk to charity, which was a priority for her in life. Hopefully, Cooper will not view his newfound wealth as a barrier to work. The world will find out soon whether he keeps showing up to his job at CNN.