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Gloria Vanderbilt dies at 95

The socialite was known for tabloid scandal and fashion empire

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Gloria Vanderbilt. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)

Actress, fashion designer and socialite Gloria Vanderbilt died at her home on Monday after a battle with stomach cancer. She was 95.

Her son, CNN news anchor Anderson Cooper, confirmed the news to CNN.

“Gloria Vanderbilt was an extraordinary woman, who loved life, and lived it on her own terms,” Cooper said in a statement to CNN. “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. She died this morning, the way she wanted to – at home, surrounded by family and friends.”

Vanderbilt was born on Feb. 20, 1924 as the only child to Reginald Claypoole Vanderbilt, the grandson of railroad tycoon Cornelius Vanderbilt, and Gloria Morgan Vanderbilt. When he was 45, Reginald died of cirrhosis of the liver leaving his 18-month-old daughter to be raised by her mother. Vanderbilt and her half-sister Cathleen Vanderbilt each inherited half of a $5 million inheritance.

Gloria Morgan was known to frivolously spend her daughter’s inheritance partying with her identical twin sister Thelma Morgan by her side. When Vanderbilt was 10 years old, her paternal aunt Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney stepped in to fight for custody of her niece. What followed was dubbed “the Trial of the Century” and Vanderbilt became the country’s “poor little rich girl.” The custody battle was tabloid fodder for months in 1934.

Whitney won the court case and Vanderbilt was sent to live on her aunt’s Long Island, N.Y. estate. Gloria Morgan received limited visitation rights.

In 1982, an NBC mini-series, titled “Little Gloria… Happy at Last,” aired based on the famous trial. It was nominated for six Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe Award.

At age 17, Vanderbilt moved to Hollywood to pursue acting. She married agent and alleged mobster Pat DiCicco in 1941. The couple divorced in 1945.

The same year she married conductor Leopold Stokowski. The couple had two children, Leopold Stanislaus “Stan” Stokowski, 68, and Christopher Stokowski, 66. Vanderbilt and Stokowski divorced in 1955.

In 1956, she married director Sidney Lumet but the couple divorced in 1963.

Vanderbilt married author Wyatt Emory Cooper in 1963. They had two children, Anderson, 52, and Carter. The couple remained married until Cooper’s death in 1978 from open heart surgery. Tragedy struck again when Carter committed suicide at the age of 23.

In between marriages she also had relationships with author Roald Dahl, filmmakers Howard Hughs and Gordon Parks, singer Frank Sinatra and actor Marlon Brando.

Vanderbilt spearheaded the movement of turning tight jeans into a women’s fashion staple in the 1970s. She partnered with Indian designer Mohan Murjani’s Murjani Corporation to create jeans known for having her signature and swan logo embroidered on the back. She would go on to release a line of perfume and home goods with her name.

In 2001 she opened up her first art exhibit which was considered a critical success.

Vanderbilt was also a bestselling author for her 2016 book”The Rainbow Comes and Goes: A Mother and Son on Life, Loss and Love,” which she co-wrote with Anderson. She and Anderson also appeared together in the 2016 HBO documentary, “Nothing Left Unsaid: Gloria Vanderbilt and Anderson Cooper.”

Anderson paid tribute to his mother with a special obituary that aired on CNN.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Just came across this photo with @andersoncooper and Carter. It was probably taken around 1979. It seems like yesterday.

A post shared by Gloria Vanderbilt (@gloriavanderbilt) on

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Online Culture

Tom Daley: Bad Dad Jokes!

Terrible jokes, but I love them! Not sure if Lance does…

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Los Angeles Blade Screenshot via YouTube

LONDON – British Olympian and gold medalist diver Tom Daley along with his husband D. Lance Black pass along some really terrible ‘Dad’ jokes.

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Celebrity News

Out Trans Munroe Bergdorf is covergirl as Cosmopolitan UK celebrates 50

“I believe the people want trans inclusion, racial equality, to end misogyny so women and girls feel safe walking home at night”

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Courtesy of Cosmopolitan UK

LONDON – Starting this upcoming Friday, January 21, customers standing in the queue at checkout tills and newsstands across the United Kingdom will be greeted by the sight of model and Out Trans activist Munroe Bergdof smiling back at them from the cover of the 50th anniversary special edition issue of Cosmopolitan UK.

In the cover story interview conducted by PinkNewsUK gender and identity journalist Vic Parsons, Salvadoran-American filmmaker, actor, model, and intersex rights activist River Gallo, along with writer, stylist and consultant Aja Barber, Bergdof discusses career, climate change and global warming, cancel culture, pronouns and the future of Trans rights.

“I hope there’s a young trans girl looking at this cover thinking: ‘I can do it too and who I am is not going to hold me back,’” she says.

Bergdorf adds: “I believe the people want trans inclusion, racial equality, to end misogyny so women and girls feel safe walking home at night.”

“I don’t think we have ever been as enlightened as a people as we are now, even if there is a lot of misinformation around. I do feel like the spark has been lit. Less people are passively accepting what they have been presented with and that’s an incredible thing.”

In a commentary piece written for London-based fashion and cultural media outlet Grazia in February 2018, Bergdorf noted;

A woman is more than a vagina, than her ability to bear children, the gender she was assigned at birth, a socio-economic class, marital status or sexual history – yet every one of these points has been used to define and control a woman’s place in society. This is why feminism must serve as an inclusive tool of liberation for all female identities and experiences, not just some. This is where so many women are still getting it wrong.”

[…]

I long to see more cisgender women in positions of influence standing up for trans women, making people aware of issues that may not affect all of us, but that we should all care about deeply.

[…]

We must learn to see all women’s experiences as worthy of being listened to within feminist discourse. Because the fact is not all women possess a functioning reproductive system, not all women have a vagina, not all women’s vaginas are pink. So, when ‘pink pussies’ are used as imagery intended to unify all women, what they are actually doing is excluding a large amount of women from feeling like they have a voice within feminism.”

Bergdof deleted her Twitter account due to the torrent of transphobic abuse she received on the social media platform PinkNewsUK reported.

“Tired of being a punching bag. Twitter is not a safe app for transgender people,” she wrote.

The activist called on social media platforms take more action to combat the abuse directed at transgender people and women online.

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Sports

Out soccer player calls out ‘homophobic abuse’ from crowd

The Adelaide United player said he had “no words” to describe his disappointment at being the target of anti-gay insults from the crowd

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Photo courtesy of Josh Cavallo Instagram

ADELAIDE, Australia – Professional soccer player Josh Cavallo, who became the only openly gay top-flight male professional footballer last year, told his Instagram followers over the weekend that he experienced “homophobic abuse” during his last game. 

The Adelaide United player said he had “no words” to describe his disappointment at being the target of anti-gay insults from the crowd at AAMI Park during his team’s Saturday game against the Melbourne Victory.

“As a society it shows we still face these problems in 2022,” he wrote. “This shouldn’t be acceptable and we need to do more to hold these people accountable. Hate never will win. I will never apologise for living my truth and most recently who I am outside of football.”

Cavallo added that he was also targeted after the game online. 

“To @instagram I don’t want any child or adult to have to receive the hateful and hurtful messages that I’ve received,” he said. “I knew truely being who I am that I was going to come across this. It’s a sad reality that your platforms are not doing enough to stop these messages.”

The Australian Professional Leagues (APL) said it was “shocked and saddened” to hear Cavallo’s reports of “homophobic bullying,” according to the Guardian

“Our players, staff and fans have the right to feel safe on and off the pitch,” APL CEO Danny Townsend said. “There is no place for bullying, harassment or abuse in Australian football and we have zero tolerance for this harmful behaviour.”

The APL is working with both teams to investigate the incident, adding that sanctions will be issued to anyone involved. 

In a statement, Adelaide United Chief Executive Officer Nathan Kosmina said that the team was “appalled” at the “verbal abuse” that Cavallo received. 

“Adelaide United is proud to be an inclusive and diverse football club, and to see one of our players subjected to homophobic abuse is disappointing and upsetting,” he said. “Josh continues to show immense courage and we join him in calling out abuse, which has no place in society, and it will not be tolerated by our Club.”

The Melbourne Victory added that it “sees football as a platform to unite fans no matter what background. Spectators found to have breached these standards will be banned from future matches.”

At the end of his Instagram message, Cavallo thanked those sending him positive messages, love and support. 

“Love will always win,” he said. 

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