With the death of Gloria Vanderbilt on Monday, June 17, American high society lost one of its great benchmarks. The lady of society, businesswoman, artist, writer and reference in the world of fashion died at 95 because of a stomach cancer.
But Vanderbilt's death also left three orphans: his three children, born from two marriages. The two elders, Leopold Stokowski, a 68-year-old businessman, and Christopher Stokowski, 67, have barely any public life. However, the little one, Anderson Cooper, is the most famous of them all, and not just for being the son of New York celebrity. 52-year-old cnn-successfully journalist, writer and host, has even won an Emmy Award thanks to a report on Haiti.
These days, Anderson Cooper is immersed in his mother's farewells. Cooper has been seen outside his mother's upper east side apartment, watching the vanderbilt coffin, transported by half a dozen men. In this farewell he was accompanied by friends and two of his ex-partners, who are still close together: Julio César Recio, with whom he spent five years, from 2004 to 2009; and Ben Maisani, with whom he dated for nine years and until 2018.
Cooper has wanted to publicly express some of the grief over his mother's death in a publication written on Vanderbilt's own account, with 216,000 followers. Alongside a gallery of Vanderbilt images at different stages of his life, Anderson has written a nice farewell text. "In her last week, my mother wanted me to put a Peggy Lee video on YouTube singing Is That All Their Is?. We grabbed our hands and sang the chorus, pretending we danced."
Cooper then breaks down the lyrics of the song they heard: "Is that all there is, is that all there is / If that's all there is my friends, then let's keep dancing / Let's break out the booze and have a ball / If that's all there is". ("This is all there is, this is all there is / If this is all there, folks, let's keep dancing / Let's give it to the drink and dance / If this is all there is").
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"My mother laughed as she sang, 'She's so wonderful...', she said, with a sound of enjoyment, of mischief, knowing that she was just about to find out if that's really all there is," she said.
On his own Instagram account, where he has more than 1.8 million followers, Cooper has also wanted to write a message to his mother along with the same series of images he has posted on hers. "In the end, after taking it all away, there's only love left. My mother believed in love more than anyone. It was her guide, her comfort, what carried her, and in her last moments, it was what surrounded her. "I love you, you know, " he would tell me, and yes, I knew it, I knew it from the time I was born, and I'll know until I die. It was the greatest gift he could give me."
In addition to his two half-brothers, Vanderbilt was Anderson Cooper's only living direct relative. Her father, the writer and screenwriter Wyatt Cooper, Vanderbilt's fourth and last husband, died in 1978 during a heart operation. Anderson Cooper had a brother two years his senior, Carter, who committed suicide in July 1988, when he was 23, jumping from his mother's 14th floor apartment in Manhattan. Vanderbilt wrote about it in his book A Mother'sStory. "I love talking about it. Increasingly. Because that brings him to me alive, he brings it to me, and it means he hasn't been forgotten," Gloria Vanderbilt told People in 2016.