How Gloria Vanderbilt became a social media star in her 90s

While Millennials are known for their mastery of social media, Gloria Vanderbilt, who died in her New York home at the age of 95, proved age is only a number when it comes to becoming an Instagram star.

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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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The artist, entrepreneur, socialite and fashion icon launched her Instagram account in 2017 at 93 years old. Since then, she’s shared everything from moments with her sons — CNN’s Anderson Cooper and her late son, Carter Cooper — and her late husband, Wyatt Emory Cooper, in addition to her own pieces of artwork and iconic fashion moments. Over the last two years, Vanderbilt delighted her more than 200,000 followers with photos from her modeling days and with her celebrity friends, including Salvador Dalí and Frank Sinatra.

Read on to see highlights from Vanderbilt’s prolific life, as documented on her Instagram.

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Gloria Vanderbilt on Instagram
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Gloria Vanderbilt on Instagram
Today I turn 95. It feels like yesterday i was 16 and posing for my first picture for Harper’s Bazaar. There is so much i wish I had known then. I do believe that it is only once you accept that life is a tragedy that you can truly start to live.... and, oh, how i have lived! So many lives, so much work, so much love. It is incalculable.
A friend sent me this photo the other day. I’d never seen it before. It is me with my Airedale in France, where i lived with my mother, and grandmother Morgan, and my nanny, whom I called Dodo. Plans were already afoot to get me back to America, I’d hear whispers between Dodo and my grandmother, but I did not know what it meant, and all that lay ahead.
My studio in NY. The bust is of my father. The small books on the upper shelf on the left are my engagement books going back decades. Walking into this room, smelling that familiar scent of turpentine and paint, it is home.
This was the first photo #Horst took of me. It was 1941 and I was an insecure 17 yr old, but when I saw this photo it gave me hope!
Just came across this photo with @andersoncooper and Carter. It was probably taken around 1979. It seems like yesterday.
It seems but a blink of the eye ago. Walking with Wyatt Cooper along Park Avenue near our house on 67th street. Me in a coat by #Adolfo.
Just came across this photo of me wearing #adolfo. How interesting how one’s eye changes over time.
Reading a poem of mine on the radio sometime in the 1950’s.
Wyatt Cooper. Forever in my heart and by my side. Sept 1, 1927 - Jan 5, 1978
Just came across this photo of me with #salvadordali taken at a party for him and his wife Gala at Delmonico's.
#DianeArbus sent me this original print of a photo she took of Carter and Anderson. She took photos at our house for weeks, but I dont think this one has ever been shown anywhere. In the note below she says, “I know this is controversial, but i thought you should have it.”
This was taken in 1969 for @townandcountrymag
Came across this photograph of me in a #BillBlass pantsuit. He was a dear, dear friend, whose kindness was being measure. I dont recall who took this photo but it was in our house on 67th street.
Thirty years ago today, before my eyes, I lost Carter Cooper. My son. My life. My hope. In the years since, his brother, my beloved Anderson, has been by my side, giving me love and strength. Carter is close and alive within me, as he was from the beginning, and as he always will be.
Am overwhelmed by all the lovely birthday wishes. Upon turning 94 my first thoughts are of Einstein, who said, “The distance between past, present and future is only an illusion however persistent. Time comes from the future which does not yet exist, into the present, which has no duration, and goes into the past which has ceased to exist.” Photo taken by my husband, Wyatt Cooper.
Shot from above for @Voguemagazine as I lay on a floor I’d covered with flower wallpaper and coats of clear varnish. Circa early 1970’s.
Love this photo of Anderson and me in my studio, with my favorite sneakers! @gloriavanderbiltstudio. Photo by #normanjeanroy
With Anderson and Carter in the house on 67th street. To quote Elizabeth Barrett Browning: "I love you in ways that are infinite and as in eternity have no beginning or end."
My father as a child (on the left) with his brother Alfred. Alfred died years later on the #Lusitania. He gave his lifejacket to a woman who did not have one, and went down with the ship.
Look where the large painting by #johncarroll (seen in my previous post) is now... in Anderson's extraordinary firehouse, next to an antique taxidermy bear that belonged to my father.
Rollerskating in the park with my beloved Nanny who I called Dodo. She came to care of me at birth. My mother was always elsewhere. Dodo became the mother I never had, and we were happy together.
Oh, the divine #FrankSinatra! Taken New Years' Eve 1954. Our love affair didn't last very long, but he came ring-a-ding-dinging into my life at an important time, and we remained friends always - isn't that how it should be?
Carter Cooper. January 27, 1965 - July 22, 1988 Not a day goes by that I do not think of him. He is close to me because he lives in my mind and heart forever.
Just came across this polaroid of me with @andersoncooper. He was 17 and leaving high school early to travel across Southern Africa for several months. I was very nervous, but put on a brave face knowing he could handle himself whatever might come. He was hospitalized in Kenya with malaria and never told me until months later when he got home.
Portrait I did of my great friend, Carol Matthau, hoping to capture some of the mystery of her devilish charm. Tout lasse Tout casse Tout passe Et tous se remplace Translated: Everything tires Everything breaks Everything passes And everything is replaced Think about it ...
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