Gloria Vanderbilt, Heiress and Socialite, Dead at 95

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"Gloria Vanderbilt was an extraordinary woman, who loved life, and lived it on her own terms", Mr Cooper said in a statement.

He shared a video clip of Vanderbilt in the hospital, sharing an identical "giggle" with her son. The humble denim pant had become a fashion phenomenon. Her first book, "Love Poems", was published in 1955 and well-reviewed by The New York Times. "The money you make yourself is the only kind of money that has any reality".

Vanderbilt was an early enthusiast for designer denim; a $US1 million advertising campaign in 1978 turned the Gloria Vanderbilt brand with its signature white swan label into a sensation. More recently, her stretch jeans have been licensed through Jones Apparel Group Inc., which acquired Gloria Vanderbilt Apparel Corp.in 2002 for $138 million.

After her success in designer jeans, Vanderbilt branched out into other areas, including shoes, scarves, table and bed linens, and china, through her company, Gloria Concepts.

Vanderbilt married her first husband, agent and movie producer Pat DiCicco, in Beverly Hills, Calif., in 1941. Meanwhile, her licensing royalties had dwindled even as her lavish spending continued. "Her private self, her real self - that was more fascinating and more lovely than anything she showed the public".

Anderson Cooper is paying tribute to mother Gloria Vanderbilt. "At 85, whatever she wants to write is fine with me". And I always spent what I made. Son Anderson Cooper called her memoir "a terrific book; it's like an older Sex and the City". She was raised in France, until an infamous custody battle between her mother and her aunt ended with her being sent to live with her father's sister, who promptly fired her beloved nanny.

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She also continued writing, eventually producing a number of memoirs, novels, and nonfiction books on design.

"Some people ... who knew Carter will start to talk about him and then say, 'Oh, I'm sorry.' And I say, 'No, I love to talk about him".

CNN anchor Anderson Cooper and his mother, Gloria Vanderbilt, attend the premiere of "Nothing Left Unsaid" on April 4, 2016, at the Time Warner Center in NY.

By that point she was living in an apartment on exclusive Beekman Place in Manhattan. The court had to be cleared of onlookers and family members alike so the judge could learn from Vanderbilt herself what she wanted.

Vanderbilt was born in 1924, the daughter of Reginald Vanderbilt, an heir to the Vanderbilt railroad fortune.

PHOTO:Assisted by chauffeur, Gloria Vanderbilt returns to mother's home after attending Palm Sunday services at Church of St. Francis of Assisi, April 14, 1935.

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"Gloria Vanderbilt was an fantastic woman who lived a life filled with incredible peaks and impossible obstacles", the Watch What Happens Live captioned a black and white shot of her on Instagram. "Happy at Last", retells the saga, which dominated Depression-era news reports.

Her fashion career began as a 15-year-old model in Harper's Bazaar and she became the darling of leading portrait photographers such as Francesco Scavullo and Richard Avedon.

Vanderbilt continued creating visual art as well, celebrating her 90th birthday in 2014 by launching an exhibition of her work at the NY gallery 1stdibs. The exposure led to offers to design prints for scarves and dresses.

At 17, and against her aunt's wishes, she got married.

Vanderbilt married Lumet in 1956 and lived with him and her children in a 10-room duplex penthouse on Gracie Square.

In 1988, in the greatest tragedy of Vanderbilt's life, Carter, aged 23, killed himself by jumping from the family's 14th-floor apartment in NY, in spite of his mother's attempts to stop him.

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