In a six-minute-long tribute to his mom, CNN host Anderson Cooper spoke highly of the 95-year-old.
At around 10 a.m. Monday morning, the tribute was shared on CNN after New York socialite Gloria Vanderbilt passed away at her home following a battle with stomach cancer.
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) June 17, 2019
The tribute began with Cooper revealing that his mom grew up in the spotlight as an heir to the Vanderbilt railroad fortune, and that’s where she remained her entire life.
He talked about the bitter custody battle Gloria was in the middle of as a child when her late father’s sister attempted to take her away from her mom, who became a widow at a young age.
He also dove into his mother’s multiple marriages before talking more about his life as Gloria’s son. Cooper said he always felt a sense of duty to protect his mom:
“She was the strongest person I’ve ever met, but she wasn’t tough. She never developed a thick skin to protect herself from hurt. She wanted to feel it all. She wanted to feel life’s pleasures, its pains as well. She trusted too freely, too completely, and suffered tremendous losses, but she always pressed on, always worked hard, always believed the best was yet to come.”
The son also shared videos from Gloria’s time in the hospital after she learned her cancer had spread to other parts of her body. It was at the hospital where Cooper realized he inherited his very distinct laugh from his mother.
As the tribute came to an end, Cooper said his mom died in the same way she lived — “on her own terms”:
“Gloria Vanderbilt died as she lived — on her own terms. I know she hoped for a little more time, a few days or weeks at least. There were paintings she wanted to make, more books she wanted to read, more dreams to dream, but she was ready. She was ready to go. She spent a lot of time alone in her head during her life, but when the end came, she was not alone. She was surrounded by beauty and by family and by friends.”
Cooper concluded with tears in her eyes, “What an extraordinary life. What an extraordinary mom. And what an incredible woman.”