'Extraordinary woman' Gloria Vanderbilt, socialite and fashion icon, dies aged 95


She was also thrust into the spotlight at the age of 10 when she was the center of a custody battle between her mother, Gloria Morgan Vanderbilt, and her aunt, Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney.

She passed away at home surrounded by her family and friends.

He also spoke about his bond with his fashion designer mother, describing her as the "strongest person" he's ever met.

'She was 95 years old, but ask anyone close to her, and they'd tell you: She was the youngest person they knew - the coolest and most modern'.

Whitney eventually won custody of Gloria with one judge reproaching the girl's mother for living a lifestyle that was "calculated to destroy her health and neglectful of her moral, spiritual and mental education".

In her adult life, Vanderbilt launched a series of fashion, perfume and home items in her name. You might recall her famous trademark on those Vanderbilt jeans you wore was a swan.

She then applied herself to acting, appearing in television dramas such as "Playhouse 90" and on Broadway in William Saroyan's "The Time of Your Life". She later married conductor Leopold Stokowski and director Sidney Lumet: Both unions also ended in divorce. "There were paintings she wanted to make, more books she wanted to read, more dreams to dream", said Cooper.

Cooper announced his mother's death Monday, eulogizing her on CNN, telling the world about "an extraordinary woman, who loved life, and lived it on her own terms".

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Following the news of her death, many, including Cooper's colleagues, took to social media to offer him condolences and praise for a "heartbreaking" but "stunning" eulogy.

Gloria Vanderbilt jeans opened doors for other designers who would soon come to be as associated with denim as she was: Calvin Klein, Jordache, and Sasson all shared shelf space with her jeans in the late 1970s and beyond.

"Every time I kissed her goodbye, I'd say, "I love you, Mom", he said. One of her memoirs told of her romances with Hollywood figures such as Sinatra, Marlon Brando, Gene Kelly and Howard Hughes (she was a teenager at the time), as well as various married men.

"She was always in love", Cooper said.

Her son Anderson Cooper called the memoir "a terrific book; it's like an older Sex and the City". She, in turn, accused him of tyrannising their sons and said he really was 85, and not 72 as he claimed.

"She spent a lot of time alone in her head during her life, but when the end came, she was not alone", he said. "Her private self, her real self - that was more fascinating and more lovely than anything she showed the public. You know that." And she was right. I never knew that we had the exact same giggle. I didn't know what it meant. "What an extraordinary life, what an extraordinary mum, and what an incredible woman".

In an interview with PEOPLE Magazine alongside Cooper, she revealed to her shocked son: "I went through a brief so-called lesbian relationship with a girl in school".