In the documentary Nothing Left Unsaid: Gloria Vanderbilt & Anderson Cooper, the CNN journalist Anderson Cooper speaks with his nonagenarian mother, Gloria Vanderbilt, about her life. The railroad heiress tells many stories about their family’s history in the public eye, some including Anderson’s father, Wyatt Emory Cooper.
[Anderson Cooper’s and Gloria Vanderbilt’s book The Rainbow Comes and Goes: A Mother and Son On Life, Love, and Loss is available April 16, 2016]
Wyatt Cooper was Vanderbilt’s fourth husband. He was from a poor family in Mississippi. In his twenties, he moved to New York to pursue a career in acting. In his thirties he moved to Los Angeles where he attended UCLA and UC Berkeley and worked as a screenwriter. In Hollywood he lived near Dorothy Parker. After Parker died, Cooper published the article “Whatever You Think Dorothy Parker Was Like, She Wasn’t” in Esquire magazine (1968). In his forties, Cooper moved to Manhattan where he worked as a magazine editor and met Vanderbilt. They had two sons: Anderson and his big brother Carter Vanderbilt Cooper (who at the age of 23 committed suicide by jumping from the family’s 14th floor apartment). Wyatt Cooper died at the age of 50 during open heart surgery. Nothing Left Unsaid: Gloria Vanderbilt & Anderson Cooper airs on HBO on April 9 at 9pm.