Why Gloria Vanderbilt did not leave an inheritance for son Anderson Cooper

Anderson Cooper has always been content making his own money.

The 52-year-old journalist's mother, artist and heiress Gloria Vanderbilt, died on Monday after a battle with stomach cancer. But although Vanderbilt was wealthy due to her successful business ventures as well as her late father being financier Reginald Vanderbilt, the heir to a railroad fortune, Cooper made it clear in a 2014 interview that his mother was not leaving him a trust fund.

"My mom's made clear to me that there's no trust fund. There's none of that," Cooper told a shocked Howard Stern during his appearance on the host's Sirius XM show. " ... I'm doing fine on my own. I don't need any."

He went on to explain why he didn't mind his mother not leaving him her considerable fortune.

"I don't believe in inheriting money," he said. "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 life? From the time I was growing up, if I felt like there was some pot of gold waiting for me, I don't know if I would have been so motivated."

17 PHOTOS
Gloria Vanderbilt and son Anderson Cooper together
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Gloria Vanderbilt and son Anderson Cooper together
LONG ISLAND, NY - MARCH 30: Socialite and heiress Gloria Vanderbilt poses for a portrait session with her sons Anderson Cooper (left) and Carter Vanderbilt Cooper on a bed in their home on March 30, 1972 in Southampton, Long Island, New York. (Photo by Jack Robinson/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Gloria Vanderbilt and her two sons, Anderson and Carter, sit on her bed. (Photo by Horst P. Horst/Condé Nast via Getty Images)
Swiss-born socialite Gloria Vanderbilt runs down the street with her two sons Anderson Cooper and Carter Vanderbilt Cooper (1965 - 1988), New York, New York. (Photo by Susan Wood/Getty Images)
NEW YORK CITY - DECEMBER 31: (L-R) Gloria Vanderbilt, Carter Cooper and Anderson Cooper attend Woody Allen New Year Eve's Party on December 31, 1979 at Harkness House in New York City. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)
UNSPECIFIED - CIRCA 1988: Gloria Vanderbilt, Carter Cooper and Anderson Cooper circa 1988. (Photo by PL Gould/IMAGES/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 18: Anderson Cooper and Gloria Vanderbilt attend THE GORDON PARKS AWARDS DINNER & AUCTION: A Celebration of his Life and the Arts at Gotham Hall on June 18, 2007. (Photo by MATT CARASELLA/Patrick McMullan via Getty Imagess)
Anderson Cooper and Gloria Vanderbilt at the Tiffany Store in New York, New York (Photo by Rabbani and Solimene Photography/WireImage)
NEW YORK CITY, NY - APRIL 16: (L-R) Anderson Cooper, Gloria Vanderbilt and Matthew Patrick Smyth attend KIPS BAY BOYS & GIRLS CLUB 2009 Preview Gala & Cocktails at ASPREY at Kips Bay Decorator Show House & Asprey on April 16, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by BILLY FARRELL /Patrick McMullan via Getty Imagess)
WATCH WHAT HAPPENS LIVE -- Pictured (l-r): Gloria Vanderbilt and Anderson Cooper -- (Photo by: Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
WATCH WHAT HAPPENS LIVE -- Pictured (l-r): Gloria Vanderbilt and Anderson Cooper -- (Photo by: Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
WATCH WHAT HAPPENS LIVE -- Pictured (l-r): Andy Cohen, Gloria Vanderbilt and Anderson Cooper -- (Photo by: Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
WATCH WHAT HAPPENS LIVE -- Pictured (l-r): Anderson Cooper and Gloria Vanderbilt -- (Photo by: Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 04: Journalist Anderson Cooper and artist Gloria Vanderbilt attend the "Nothing Left Unsaid" New York premiere at Time Warner Center on April 4, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 04: Chairman and CEO of HBO Richard Plepler, artist Gloria Vanderbilt, president of HBO documentary films Sheila Nevins, journalist Anderson Cooper and director Liz Garbus attend the "Nothing Left Unsaid" New York premiere at Time Warner Center on April 4, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 14: Anderson Cooper and Gloria Vanderbilt attend A Conversation with Anderson Cooper and Gloria Vanderbilt at 92nd Street Y on April 14, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Laura Cavanaugh/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 07: Gloria Vanderbilt and Anderson Cooper in conversation at Barnes & Noble Union Square on April 7, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by John Lamparski/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 14: Anderson Cooper and Gloria Vanderbilt attend A Conversation With Anderson Cooper And Gloria Vanderbilt at 92Y on April 14, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Jenny Anderson/WireImage)
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Cooper also pointed out that his mom made more money by herself than she inherited.

"We believe in working," he noted. "She's the coolest person I know. She really is."

Vanderbilt inherited a trust fund that was worth $5 million in 1925 (roughly $70 million today) after her father's death, and according to celebritynetworth.com, was worth $200 million at the time of her death.

The late heiress made it clear throughout her life that she valued making her own money. In a 1985 interview with The New York Times, she said, "I'm not knocking inherited money, but the money I’ve made has a reality to me that inherited money doesn’t have."

In a 2016 interview with CBS This Morning, Cooper said that both he and his mother didn't have much of a connection to the wealthy Vanderbilts.

"That name Vanderbilt has such baggage with it, such history, and I'm very glad I don't have that name, and my mom never felt much connection to the Vanderbilt family and I certainly didn't," Cooper said, noting that he always identified more with his late father, writer Wyatt Emory Cooper's, more down-to-earth roots in Mississippi. "One of the happiest days for my mom, she called me and said, 'Somebody just referred to me as Anderson Cooper's mom.' Very happy that she's reached that stage of life."

In Cooper's moving on-air eulogy for his mother, he talked about her complicated past.

"Gloria Vanderbilt lived her entire life in the public eye," he said while narrating a touching video. "Born in 1924, her father, Reginald Vanderbilt, was heir to the Vanderbilt railroad fortune, but gambled away most of his inheritance, and died when my mom was just a baby. Gloria Morgan Vanderbilt, her mother, wasn't ready to be a mom or a widow."

45 PHOTOS
Gloria Vanderbilt over the years
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Gloria Vanderbilt over the years
Gloria Vanderbilt. January 14, 1955. (Photo by Louis Liotta/New York Post Archives /(c) NYP Holdings, Inc. via Getty Images)
Gloria Vanderbilt took the witness stand for the third day today to testify in the custody proceeding involving her two children, Chris, 7, and Stan, 8, and her husband, conductor Leopold Stokowski. June 08, 1959. (Photo by Louis Liotta/New York Post Archives /(c) NYP Holdings, Inc. via Getty Images)
Gloria Vanderbilt. June 05, 1959. (Photo by Arty Pomerantz/New York Post Archives /(c) NYP Holdings, Inc. via Getty Images)
(Original Caption) Star Gathering. Eva Gabor (left) and her new husband Richard Brown share the dance floor with Director Sidney Lumet and his wife Gloria Vanderbilt. Fisher's opening-nite performance just before the party was generally acclaimed by both critics and audience, confounding prophets who said the singer's career would be wrecked after his marital difficulties with Debbie Reynolds and subsequent marriage to Miss Taylor.
(Original Caption) Gloria Vanderbilt and her husband Sidney Lumet, are seen here with Cleveland Amory. (Photo by VCG Wilson/Bettmann Archive)
Gloria Vanderbilt enters Supreme Court with her lawyers, Arnold R. Krakower, left, and George Haipern, to hear testimony of Leopold Stokowski in their custody battle over their sons. January 14, 1958. (Photo by Louis Liotta/New York Post Archives /(c) NYP Holdings, Inc. via Getty Images)
(Original Caption) Los Angeles. Actress Gloria Vanderbilt arives here 11/12 to make her motion picture depbut opposite Frank Sinatra in the actor's first production venture, "Johnny Concho." Miss Vanderbilt said that she was sorry that "Frank" was not at the airport to meet her.
Gloria Vanderbilt at the World Premiere of "East of Eden." (Photo by George Rinhart/Corbis via Getty Images)
(Original Caption) Gloria Vanderbilt is congratulated by actor Franchot Tone after making her New York legitimate stage debut at the City Center. Gloria had a bit part in a production of "the Time of Your Life," which opened a two-week run at the theater. Tone starred in the revival.
(Original Caption) Gloria Vanderbilt Stokowska as she began rehearsals today for her role in William Saroyan's The Time of Your Life, which opens at the 55th Street Playhouse on January 19th. Miss Vanderbilt recently announced her separation from maestro Leopold Stokowski and said she plans to divorce him. They have been married nine years and have two children.
Portrait of designer Gloria Vanderbilt, late 1960s or early 1970s. (Photo by Jack Robinson/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
American heiress and designer Gloria Vanderbilt and her second husband American film director Sidney Lumet stand together at the foot of a marble staircase, early 1960s. (Photo by Getty Images)
Producer Sidney Lumet and his wife, heiress Gloria Vanderbilt smile as the stand together at the Astor Theatre for the opening of "The Fugitive Kind". The film, which stars Marlon Brando, Anna Magnani, and Joanne Woodward is an adaptation of the Tennessee Williams play, Orpheus Descending. New York City, New York.
Portrait of American heiress and socialite (as well as fashion designer and artist) Gloria Vanderbilt, New York, New York, late 1960s. (Photo by Jack Robinson/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Socialite Gloria Vanderbilt with a new hairdo made famous by the 1961 French film 'Last Year at Marienbad', May 1963. (Photo by Paul Schutzer/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
American heriess and designer Gloria Vanderbilt poses with her fourth husband, actor and editor Wyatt Cooper (1927 - 1978), at the Nine O'clocks Winter Ball in honor of Colonel Serge Obolensky's 80th birthday, Plaza Hotel, New York City, December 1, 1970. The theme of the ball was the Winter Palace at St. Petersburg during the Romanov Dynasty. (Photo by Santi Visalli Inc./Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 01: Gloria Vanderbilt, socialite, seated on the patchwork floor in her apartment, in front of the fireplace, wearing Japonoiserie-styled patchwork, silk caftan with ruffled collar, hair pulled back into her usual classic chignon (Photo by Horst P. Horst/Conde Nast via Getty Images)
From left, twin sisters, Lady Furness (Thelma Morgan) (1904 - 1970) and Gloria Morgan Vanderbilt (1904 - 1965) sit together in front of a fireplace. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Gloria Vanderbilt culred up on a couch with flowered printed pillows she designed, the apartment is shared with husband Wyatt Cooper and two young sons. (Photo by Horst P. Horst/Conde Nast via Getty Images)
Close up of designer and socialite, Gloria Vanderbilt stands in her Manhattan studio. (Photo by Horst P. Horst/Condé Nast via Getty Images)
Gloria Vanderbilt in her studio with pantings on the walls and floor. (Photo by Horst P. Horst/Conde Nast via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY- CIRCA 1980s: Bobby Short and Gloria Vanderbilt circa the 1980s in New York City. (Photo by Bettina Cirone/IMAGES/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - CIRCA 1980: Gloria Vanderbilt circa 1980 in New York City. (Photo by PL Gould/IMAGES/Getty Images)
Designers Gloria Vanderbilt and Geoffrey Beene (in shadows) between a pair of folding partition walls in Geoffrey Beene's New York showroom. Gloria Vanderbilt wears a two-piece dress with a bouffant skirt, printed with pink flowers on cotton, by Geoffrey Beene. Hair by Suga. Makeup by Sandra Linter. (Photo by Deborah Turbeville/Conde Nast via Getty Images)
Bill Blass and Gloria Vanderbilt during 1985 Annual Council of Fashion Designers of America Awards Dinner at Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - APRIL 01: Fashion designer Gloria Vanderbilt (great- great-granddaughter of Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt) wearing a pleated dress most likely by Fortuny and posing in front of a large portrait of her mother in her penthouse in Gracie Square in New York City (Photo by Horst P. Horst/Conde Nast via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - MARCH 19: Gloria Vanderbilt (Photo by The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - MARCH 19: Gloria Vanderbilt (Photo by The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - MARCH 19: Gloria Vanderbilt (Photo by The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
Gloria Vanderbilt during Fall Fashion Week Fashion by Bill Blass - April 6, 1995 at Bryant Park in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)
(Original Caption) Portrait of Gloria Vanderbilt. (Photo by Eric Robert/Sygma/Sygma via Getty Images)
(Original Caption) Portrait of Gloria Vanderbilt. (Photo by Eric Robert/Sygma/Sygma via Getty Images)
Gloria Vanderbilt and sons Carter Cooper and Anderson Cooper attend the premiere of Manhattan on April 18, 1979 at the Ziegfeld Theater in New York City. (Photo by Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - CIRCA 1998: Gloria Vanderbilt signs her book with Anne Slater, Madison Ave. bookstore, New York - 1998 (Photo by Rose Hartman/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - 2000: Artist Gordon Parks & designer Gloria Vanderbilt at a gala at the Plaza Hotel in 2000 in New York City, New York. (Photo by Rose Hartman/Getty Images)
NEW YORK CITY, NY - APRIL 4: Gloria Vanderbilt and Andrew Slabey attend 4th Annual Benefit for The Academy of American Poets at Alice Tully Hall Lincoln Center on April 4, 2006 in New York City. (Photo by Matt Carasella/Patrick McMullan via Getty Imagess)
NEW YORK CITY, NY - FEBRUARY 5: Gloria Vanderbilt attends Celebration & Book Signing for DRAWING FASHION: THE ART OF KENNETH PAUL BLOCK by Susan Mulcahy at Bergdorf Goodman on February 5, 2008 in New York City. (Photo by Patrick McMullan/Patrick McMullan via Getty Imagess)
NEW YORK CITY, NY - FEBRUARY 5: Anne Slater and Gloria Vanderbilt attend Celebration & Book Signing for DRAWING FASHION: THE ART OF KENNETH PAUL BLOCK by Susan Mulcahy at Bergdorf Goodman on February 5, 2008 in New York City. (Photo by NEIL RASMUS/Patrick McMullan via Getty Imagess)
American photographer and film director Gordon Parks (1912 - 2006) and American artist and author Gloria Vanderbilt attending the '8th Annual Living Landmarks Gala' at the Plaza Hotel, New York City, USA, circa 2001. (Photo by Rose Hartman/Archive Photos/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 04: Ralph Lauren and Gloria Vanderbilt attend the launch party for "The World Of Gloria Vanderbilt" at the Ralph Lauren Women's Boutique on November 4, 2010 in New York City (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 04: Gloria Vanderbilt and Anderson Cooper attend the launch party for "The World Of Gloria Vanderbilt" at the Ralph Lauren Women's Boutique on November 4, 2010 in New York City (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 15: Diane Furstenberg and Gloria Vanderbilt attend DIANE VON FURSTENBERG celebrates the publication of GLORIA VANDERBILT's "Obession: An Erotic Tale" at 874 Washington St on July 15, 2009 in New York. (Photo by AMBER DE VOS/Patrick McMullan via Getty Imagess)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 12: Painter Gloria Vanderbilt attends "The World of Gloria Vanderbilt: Collages, Dream Boxes, and Recent Paintings" Preview Party Gala Benefit to benefit the Huntsville Museum of Art on September 12, 2012 in New York, United States. (Photo by Taylor Hill/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 14: Gloria Vanderbilt speaks during SiriusXM's 'Town Hall' With Gloria Vanderbilt at SiriusXM Studios on July 14, 2016 in New York City. Town Hall To Air On Radio Andy. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for SiriusXM)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 14: Gloria Vanderbilt attends SiriusXM's 'Town Hall' With Gloria Vanderbilt at SiriusXM Studios on July 14, 2016 in New York City. Town Hall To Air On Radio Andy. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for SiriusXM)
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"My mom grew up in France, not knowing anything about the Vanderbilt family or the money that she would inherit when she turned 21," he continued. "She had no idea the trouble that money would create."

Her family name continued to affect her as she grew up, after a judge granted custody to her aunt, Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, when she was 10 years old -- whom she barely knew at the time -- and fired her beloved nanny, whom she was close to. The intense custody battle between her aunt and her mom was dubbed "The Trial of the Century."

"As a teenager, she tried to avoid the spotlight, but reporters and cameramen would follow her everywhere," Cooper shared. "She was determined to make something of her life, determined to make a name for herself and find the love and family that she so desperately craved."

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