Wine, women, song, Anderson Cooper's grandfather Reggie Vanderbilt really lived it up, if in limited terms, and was his mother's favorite. He was neither as dashing or rich as his brothers, but as a Vanderbilt, his name alone lent sufficient allure so that he was regarded as "terribly attractive". Like his brother Alfred he married twice and had children from each union. Also like Alfred he died relatively young, just 45 in 1925.
His daughter Cathleen Vanderbilt, from his marriage to society debutante Cathleen Neilson, had a pronounced amount of the same "oriental looks" Anderson and his mother share, a Vanderbilt characteristic, combining dark hair almond-shaped eyes and high cheek bones.
Cathleen Vanderbilt, was a product of Reginald Claypoole Vanderbilt's marriage to debutante Cathleen Neilson.
Beginning to be seen as a playboy by his 40th birthday, Reggie hit the jackpot when he met Gloria Morgan and her sister Thelma, the beautiful 'Morgan Twins'. He married Gloria not long before he expired. What a way to go.
Gloria Vanderbilt was the result, the world has not been the same since.
A distinguished sculptor of great sensitivity who had trained with Rodin, Gertrude Vanderbilt , Anderson cooper's grandaunt greatly pleased her parents by choosing to marry an American, her neighbor on 57th Street, Harry Payne Whitney. In addition to his being friends with their sons and rather handsome, he was immensely rich, even by Vanderbilt standards. As a rebellious adolescent, Gertrude had terrified her mother. If her effusive protestations of love for Ester Hunt, the daughter of the Breakers' architect, were too awful to contemplate, the implication was unmistakable!
What a compartmentalized life Gertrude led. doing her duty to produce children, increasingly she lived in a converted Greenwich Village mews, where she had a studio. When the occasion demanded, she graciously put in an appearance at Fifth Avenue, but drag balls and night clubs in Paris and Harlem came to offer far more appeal for her than staid society functions. She is all but notorious today, for the hard role she played in having her sister-in-law declared an unfit mother and thereafter taking charge to raise her young niece, Gloria Vanderbilt. Courtroom intimations that little Gloria’s mother engaged in lesbian relationships seem cruelly ironic as, since girlhood, whispers of Gertrude Whitney’s varied passions for men and women had swirled all around among bon ton New York and Newport. Did Gloria's mother know? Living with her, had Gloria known?
The glamour, the special-ness, the style, the pathos, the drama which have been Gloria Vanderbilt's well-publisized life: it's little wonder Anderson Cooper works so hard to avoid the excessive or extra, to attempt to be down.
Anderson and Carter Cooper as babies.
Since the worst thing one can call an American, other than a child molester, is 'GAY!', as it's falsely assumed by many, that most child molesters are gay, one has heard speculation about virtually everyone, including Anderson Cooper and his entire family. But of course, not everyone can be gay, beyond the oppression, it's hard work making all things in the world appear in the best possible light.
So even not knowing the guy, I'm happy he's on our team. I understand all about the privacy thing, but I hope he'll make up a little for his silence and come out more to support gay causes. We gays are all about doing a great job to improve the world, to make people feel and look better, to understand and offer support. Partly, it's compensation, an attempt to prove we are worthy of being loved.
One watches Cooper do this, the understanding, caring and compassion bit, all the time, and on TV. Don Lemon too, they're great helping to focus attention and concern about issues we only manage not to conveniently avoid because of their thoughtful presentations which persuade us, 'oh yes, we must do something about Katrina, or HIV, human trafficking, blood diamonds...you know. Thanks Anderson Cooper. What you do, what you just did, it makes a real difference.