Anderson Cooper Says Mother Gloria Vanderbilt’s Estate Is Worth Way Less Than People Think

When Gloria Vanderbilt died on Jan. 17, 2019, fans and media began speculating on her fortune. Not only did she come from the Vanderbilt railroad empire, but she made her own money as a model and actor, then fashion designer. There was also speculation as to how much her son, Anderson Cooper would inherit, and now he’s setting the record straight. 

Gloria Vanderbilt and Anderson Cooper
Gloria Vanderbilt and Anderson Cooper | Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

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Cooper appeared on The Howard Stern Show on May 12, and Stern wanted to know exactly how much money Vanderbilt left Cooper. Cooper said it’s far less than early projections estimated.

Gloria Vanderbilt was not worth $200 million, Anderson Cooper says

Even Stern remembered the reports suggesting the Vanderbilt estate was worth $200 million. That number was news to Cooper. 

“I don’t know what the amount is going to be but it’s not some huge estate,” Cooper said. “I think the New York Post put out a thing early on it was $200 million [and] I was like wow.”

Gloria Vanderbilt’s estate is probably 1% of that

Take off a zero or two to find the real value of the Vanderbilt estate. Stern guessed $1.5 million and Cooper confirmed. 

Gloria Vanderbilt, | Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images

“Yeah, something like that,” Cooper said. “I think the final estate hasn’t been done. I’m guessing it will be maybe a million and a half, two million dollars.”

Anderson Cooper’s siblings inherited more than reported too

Reports also said Vanderbilt left her eldest son an apartment in New York, and nothing to her middle son. Cooper implied they got more too.

Anderson Cooper
Anderson Cooper | Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Sundance Film Festival

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“That’s not really true,” Cooper said of the rumor one of his brothers got nothing. “My mom lived a big life and made a lot of money, spent a lot of money, had people embezzle money. She wasn’t interested in money. I know people would imagine that’s what she was interested in. She had no sense of it. She cared about being generous to her friends and having a nice physical environment and creating art.”

Anderson Cooper didn’t expect to inherit anything 

Cooper stated in interviews before Vanderbilt’s passing that he never expected to inherit her money. He doesn’t need to anyway, since he has a thriving TV news career going. However, near the end of her life, he understood his position had changed. 

Anderson Cooper
Anderson Cooper | Angela Weiss / AFP via Getty Images

“Yes, I guess I was left a certain amount of money,” Cooper said. “I’ve been helping my mom for a long time. I paid my mom back for everything over the course of my life, I paid her back for my college. I think it was more she was appreciative of me being there for her, helping her out from time to time, I don’t know.”

He really only wanted one thing

The money is more of a formality for Cooper. He wanted to inherit the works of art she left behind. 

Gloria Vanderbilt: Nothing Left Unsaid
Gloria Vanderbilt | Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

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“To me what’s really important is my mom’s paintings,” Cooper said. “My mom painted from her early 20s. I just wanted to keep all that stuff together. She sold a fair amount over the course of her life. I have a lot and there’s a lot in her studio. She had two apartments in her building, one she lived in and an apartment that was a studio.”