Anderson Cooper Has His Own Millions, Thank You

Here is another fact in a long series of facts maybe everyone knows but me: Anderson Cooper is a Vanderbilt?! Of railroad tycoon fame? More specifically, his mom is the 90-year-old heiress Gloria Vanderbilt, who has $200 million dollars that she is NOT giving to her son when she dies.

Anderson Cooper, per the NY Post, is fine with that. In fact, he’s a little smug about it:

“I don’t believe in inheriting money … I think it’s an initiative sucker. I think it’s a curse.

“Who’s inherited a lot of money that has gone on to do things in their own life? From the time I was growing up, if I felt that there was some pot of gold waiting for me, I don’t know that I would’ve been so motivated.

“I’m doing fine on my own, I don’t need any,” he said.

I get where he’s coming — or at least the idea that ‘earning’ money just feels a lot better than getting it because you implanted in a very lucky uterus — but I think the next paragraph provides some critical context:

Cooper, 47, makes around $11 million a year at CNN and lives in a converted firehouse in Greenwich Village and also has a Hamptons estate in Quogue. Last November he signed a contract extension to keep him at CNN through the 2016 presidential election.

Homeboy can afford to be all idealistic and smug about it.

I think if I lived in an alternate universe where I got a big inheritance I would ‘feel weird about it’ but also I would take that moneyyyyyy.

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12 Comments / Post A Comment

pissy elliott (#844)

additionally: even though he may not be inheriting gloria’s millions, it might be material that those millions made him able to go to dalton, yale, and work low-paying tv jobs/report around myanmar in a jeep.

Blondsak (#2,299)

@pissy elliott Precisely. Inherited money isn’t the only factor to consider when you’re born into a supremely wealthy family. Inherited power/influence/social capital can have just as much if not MORE significance in shaping a person’s future.

Trilby (#191)

I have some inside info on Gloria V. and Im pretty sure she’s not sitting on $200mil. Where did you get that from? She’s inherited a lot, made a lot, and also lost a lot and spent loads in her long lifetime.

readyornot (#816)

@Trilby the $200 million figure came from the Post article. I won’t vouch for their fact-checking, but they must have gotten the number from somewhere. When you say, “lost a lot,” I don’t know whether you’re referring to the legal fraud in which her lawyer did not pay her taxes and she had to sell off an apartment and a house to pay the taxes. Even if you are, I imagine her late art career has recouped some of that. Surely not all of the wealth is in purely financial instruments but some in real estate and other assets.

Trilby (#191)

@readyornot Lost and spent. I know the family very well. Yes, I saw that the Post reported that. I don’t think it’s true. She has a lot of expensive clothes and jewelry and furniture, used. And a co-op. Not that kind of cash however.

@Trilby I know someone who is friendly with a Vanderbilt of some stripe, and apparently the joke is being an heir to the Vanderbilt thousands, since the fortune was divided between so many heirs over the years…

@fo (#839)

@Trilby “$200mil.”

That number is all over the tubez, but the only place I found it used as a “true fact” was about the size of the Commodore’s estate at death. Now, that $200mm in 18XX would obviously be a LOT bigger today, BUT it was split howmanyways AND had all those heirs living the jetset for 100+ years.

So, yeah, seems more like it should be described as “GV’s piece of her G,G,G-pa’s $200m estate”.

madrassoup (#929)

Who is he offending by being “smug,” though? Johnsons? Hiltons? Other children of multi-millionaires/billionaires? He seems only to be comparing himself to other people just like himself, who grew up un rarefied spaces surrounded by money and opportunity. Some of those people took the family money and ran (to the club, it seems), while he is saying that he didn’t even want the promise of money since it would have taken away any initiative on his part. And the evidence of all the CNN money that will ensure that he is just fine without an inheritance seems to prove just that. (Obviously he was well positioned to succeed, but so was Paris Hilton and look what happened there.)

My point/vote is that it’s 100% OK to be “smug” from where Cooper sits. I don’t get how a Billfold reader or writer could possibly think he was speaking beyond his very specific demographic.

Vib G Yor (#3,566)

A lack of inheritance AND cultural capital/family connections have not made me more successful and motivated, Mr. Cooper. It’s made me risk-averse and lowered my expectations for myself. I’ve worked my way into a decent career and decent salary in spite of my background, but I couldn’t bring myself to take the risks that are necessary to try for the kinds of gigs that lead to millions. I can’t afford to lose what I’ve gained, and all I really want is some security and comfort. You would be totally disappointed to have my pretty-good middle class life. Ugh. I would definitely take that inheritance and the privilege that comes with old money (though I’m about to marry into old money, so you better bet I will be giving my kids all the opportunity and security that I didn’t have).

thegirlieshow (#5,285)

That second to last sentence is spot on.

Caitlin with a C (#3,578)

“Who’s inherited a lot of money that has gone on to do things in their own life?” Kind of a burn on his mom, though.

Eric18 (#4,486)

“Who’s inherited a lot of money that has gone on to do things in their own life?”

Well, you would have to define “a lot” and “things,” wouldn’t you Anderson? I think there are plenty of people who have inherited money and have gone on to do great things in their lives for themselves and others.

Who actually watches Anderson/CNN in primetime anymore? I was looking at their latest ratings. Not even their obsessive coverage of the Malaysian plane crash could prevent them from sinking into irrelevance.

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