The great-great-great-granddaughter of shipping and railroad magnate Cornelius Vanderbilt, “Little” Gloria Laura Vanderbilt was born into a life of wealth, fame and privilege on February 20, 1924. Her mother’s family were diplomats and judges. Her father Reginald Vanderbilt was heir to the fortune and a horse-breeder, playboy and alcoholic gambler who died when she was just 17 months old. She married four times, having two sons with her second husband, conductor Leopold Stokowski, and two more with the last, Mississippi writer Wyatt Cooper. CNN anchor Anderson Cooper is the younger of the second two, his brother Carter tragically committing suicide in 1988 at age 23 before his horrified mother’s eyes.