Anderson Cooper Is Heir To The Vanderbilt Family
Cornelius Vanderbilt’s descendants went on to build great Fifth Avenue mansions, Newport, Rhode Island “summer cottages,” the famous Biltmore House and various other exclusive homes. The family’s prominence lasted until the early 20th century, when the ten great Fifth Avenue mansions were torn down and other Vanderbilt homes were sold or turned into museums. The family suffered from a major downfall in prominence by the mid-20th century, known as the Fall of the House of Vanderbilt. Despite the family’s downfall and major loss of fortune, the Vanderbilts remain the seventh wealthiest family in history.
Branches of the family are found on the United States East Coast as well as in the United Kingdom. Sandra Topping,grandaughter of Margaret Emerson married to Alfred Gwynne Vanderbuilt,had two daughters. Alexandra Baker and Whitney Baker.Contemporary descendants include fashion designer Gloria Vanderbilt, her son, journalist Anderson Cooper, and musicians John P. Hammond and Joey
Two years ago in May, boy did CNN and Anderson Cooper catch hell! Not looking all that closely at a spot, several African American pundits were furious. Recreating the infamous ‘Doll Test’ of more than two generation ago, the network engaged respected child psychologist and University of Chicago professor Margaret Beale Spencer, a leading researcher in the field of child development. She reprised work done by Kenneth and Mamie Clark measuring how segregation affected African American children.
Given national employment and education statistics, the persisting ‘outlaw’ status accorded most blacks, the segment’s revelation that, children, both black and white, still overwhelmingly prefer whites, comes as no surprise. What provoked the pundit’s ire, was white and privileged, Anderson Cooper. Just as with President Obama and some Tea Party adherents, to these guys, Cooper could do nothing right. He was just interviewing the social scientist who implemented the study and a few participants for feedback. In what better way could he alert masses of the complacent public that something was still, quite wrong in America?
Now then, I know that Andreson Cooper is not black. I know that even though he is gay that, that’s not the same as being black either. But I will tell you something, you may or may not know already: at some point, no matter whoever else they are, most kids who are gay, like many kids who are black, hate who they are! For lots, no amount of positive-reinforcement from family changes a thing. A parent’s love, at one level, is expected as a matter of entitlement. Parents and siblings are one thing, and the world’s message of alinating regection is another. Rejection on both fronts is worst of all. But for many the road to well being starts with self-awarness and acceptance befor anything else.
Hooray! Anderson Hays Cooper, joining millions, has come out! Some suggests it hardly matters. But it most certainly does, and primarily, because of his visibility amd also because he is a Vanderbilt: a family as close as America has, to a royal dynasty. His mom and other family members might well have had friends who are gay, but relations?
Rising from rags-to-riches, a little less than two centuries ago, the saga of Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt of Staten Island, is an amazing one. Ever since he died, the richest man in the country, in 1877, the sometimes vivid, passionate and indulged lives of his affluent descendants have dependably made for a good read. Not the least interesting among the Vanderbilts’ stories is that of young media-star, Anderson Cooper. Acclaimed for his boy-next-door good looks and resonate empathy, pre-maturely gray, Cooper is called the ‘silver fox’ by some. Seeming, utterly unassumimg and appealingly artless, may in fact be an indication of Cooper’s clever slyness. For unlike his happily patrician mother, even echewing the airs and graces, the cumbersome accoutrement’s of his lordly linage, he is a Vanderbilt all the same.
This matters because members of high society have a code. If one is rich, it is thought prudent to marry someone richer still. If one comes from a socillay prominent family, a nobel or a royal house, certainly that’s nice. But wealth, if great enough, is superior to any pedigree, no matter how august.
For a long time, not even the Vanderbilts saw it this way. With mixed results, assuming they had more money than almost anyone, they assiduously sought out noble alliances. But whether in pursuit of titles, great beauty or greater riches, the objective has always been to increase and enhance the advantages and position of ones’ family. This is why one hears of no gay European royals or aristocrats. For gay, straight or indifferent, the imperative expectation among the ruling class, is that one marry and have children. Historically one’s mate could not be black nor of ones own sex. Indeed, except when exceedingly rich, there were a good many qulafications which might invalidate someone as a potentially suitable partner. In an earlier time, Anderson Cooper would have doubtlessly been under considerable pressure to marry a woman and to have children, even as the fashion for marriage equality has made it de rigueur, that gays emulate straights in all our most cherished conventions. Hence the question arises, though invariably respectably married, were any of Anderson Cooper’s antecedents either L, G, B, or T?
William Henry Vanderbilt, Anderson Cooper’s great-great-grandfather turned the fortune he inherited of nearly $100,000,000., into nearly $200,000,000. by the time died as the world’s wealthiest man, in 1885. The triple brownstone-faced house William Vanderbilt erected on Fifth Avenue, planned by Charles B. Atwood of the Herter Brothers design studio, was a marvel of Aesthetic Movement exuberance on a scale never before atempted in the United States. Fashioned from choice hardwoods, inlaid with mother-of-pearl, semi-precious stones and polished metal, gilded and intricately carved, Vanderbilt’s furniture, supplied by Herter Brothers, still impresses connisures with the originality of its conception.