Gloria Vanderbilt was born in New York City to descendants of two of the wealthiest families in the United States, the Vanderbilts and the Morgans. At the age of 18 months Vanderbilt and her half-sister Cathleen became heiresses to a trust worth millions on the occasion of their father's death from cirrhosis. Due to her mother's lavish spending habits and allegations from Vanderbilt's paternal aunt that her mother was an "unfit" parent, the two women met in court for a custody battle over young Gloria Vanderbilt that was followed breathlessly in the ppress andcalled "the trial of the century." Ultimately, the judge found in favor of Vanderbilt's aunt, and Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney became the legal guardian of Gloria Vanderbilt. Vanderbilt grew up on the family's lavish estate at Old Westbury, Long Island. She was educated at the Greenvale School, Miss Porter's, the Wheeler School and eventually the Art Students League in New York City. Vanderbilt spent a decade of her life pursuing the stage and screen. She was devoted to the theater arts, and appeared on Broadway, in "The Time of Your Life," in 1955. Vanderbilt also appeared on television on shows like "The Love Boat" (ABC, 1977-1986), and "Person to Person" (ABC, 1953-1961). In the 1970s Vanderbilt began her foray into the world of fashion and design. She licensed both her name and her artistic work for a line of scarves, and eventually jeans which were a big hit. Also a writer, Vanderbilt regularly contributed to publications and wrote books on interior design and art, as well as several works of fiction. Vanderbilt was married four times and had four sons. Her last husband was writer Wyatt Emory Cooper with whom she raised her two sons Carter and Anderson. Carter committed suicide at age 24, while Anderson went on to a career as a prominent CNN anchor. Vanderbilt had relationships with Frank Sinatra, and Marlon Brando and was rumored to be part of the inspiration for Truman Capote's Holly Golightly. Vanderbilt died in New York City on June 17, 2019.
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