Fashion designer and socialite, Gloria Vanderbilt has passed away at the age of 95. Her son, Anderson Cooper announced her death and gave tribute to his mother on Monday morning.
“Gloria Vanderbilt was an extraordinary woman, who loved life, and lived it on her own terms,” Cooper said. “She was a painter, a writer and designer but also a remarkable mother, wife, and friend. 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.”
Vanderbilt married four times throughout her life. Her husbands were Pat DiCicco, Leopold Stokowski, Sidney Lumet and Wyatt Emory Cooper.
Here’s what you need to know about Vanderbilt’s past spouses:
1. At 17, Vanderbilt Married Pat DiCicco in What Turned out to Be an Abusive Marriage
At just 17-years-old, Gloria Vanderbilt found herself married to the press secretary of the famous American businessman and film producer, Howard Hughes.
According to The Telegraph, DiCicco noticed Vanderbilt lounging by the pool in her pink strapless bathing suit in Beverley Hills. Vanderbilt was desperate to escape from under the thumb of her aunt, so she decided to try and find a husband.
“It’s very hard for me to connect him with what he apparently became,” she told The Telegraph. “I just thought he was terrific. I was crazy about him, and would have married him in a minute. But then,” she said, “I would have married anybody in a minute because I wanted to get out.”
After the two got married in December 1941, Vanderbilt was quickly introduced to DiCicco abusive behaviors and unwieldy temperament.
“He would take my head and bang it against the wall,” she said. “I had black eyes.” Vanderbilt also told The Telegraph that DiCicco used to call her “Fatsy Roo.”
2. Just Weeks after Divorcing DiCicco, Vanderbilt Married Leopold Stokowski
After finalizing the divorce with Pat DiCicco in 1945, Vanderbilt went on to marry conductor Leopold Stokowski just a few weeks after.
Stokowski was a famous conductor and quite a bit older than Vanderbilt, per The Telegraph. They were married for 10 years after marrying in Mexicali, Mexico. There was quite the age difference between the two, as Vanderbilt was 20 and Stokowski was 62 at the time of their marriage. The two had two children, Stan, and Christopher Stokowski.
According to The Telegraph, Stokowski pushed her to pursue her passions in painting, poetry and acting, but kept her socially isolated.
After a brief relationship with Frank Sinatra, while her and Stokowski were still married, Vanderbilt decided to divorce her husband in 1955.
3. Vanderbilt Married Director Sidney Lumet in 1956
Shortly after her divorce of Stokowski, Vanderbilt married film director Sidney Lumet in the mid-1950s.
Their marriage lasted seven years and resulted in no children. The two remained lifelong friends, according to The Telegraph.
Lumet directed films such as 12 Angry Men, Dog Day Afternoon, Network, and The Verdict.
4. Vanderbilt Married the ‘Love of Her Life,’ Wyatt Cooper in 1964
Gloria Vanderbilt recognized Wyatt Cooper as the love of her life, as the two married in 1964 and had two children, Carter Cooper (born 1965) and newscaster, Anderson Cooper (born 1967).
Wyatt Cooper was a writer and magazine editor from the south. Prior to her passing, Vanderbilt told The Telegraph that the two would still be married if it weren’t for his death in 1978.
“We had the family life that I’d always wanted,” Vanderbilt said. “He made me understand what it would have been like to have had a father – he was a most amazing father. I’d never experienced anything like it.”
Cooper was 50-years-old when he passed away. According to The Telegraph, Cooper’s family had a long history with early death.
Cooper passed away due to a series of heart attacks.
5. Vanderbilt Also Reportedly Had Relationships with Frank Sinatra, Marlon Brando & Roald Dahl
Outside of her marriages, Vanderbilt also held relationships with Frank Sinatra, Marlon Brando and author Roald Dahl.
Born into fame and wealth, Vanderbilt’s record as a socialite is well documented in several of her memoirs. According to The Daily Mail, Vanderbilt accounted some of her past sexual relationships when she wrote her erotic novel, Obsession and a joint-memoir with son Anderson Cooper, The Rainbow Comes And Goes.
Outside of her husbands, Vanderbilt had sexual relationships with the likes of Frank Sinatra, Marlon Brando, Howard Hughes, Errol Flynn and Clark Gable.
One man The Daily Mail said Vanderbilt resisted was author Roald Dahl. She was allegedly invited up to his New York flat, but nothing lewd ever happened between the two.