CNN anchor Anderson Cooper revealed Monday on The Howard Stern Show a bit of startling news:
Cooper, a descendant of the Vanderbilt family, doesn’t own any railroads!
Oh, and he doesn’t stand to get an inheritance from his mother, Gloria Vanderbilt.
“There’s no inheritance,” Cooper told Howard and Robin. “I don’t believe in inheriting money [...] My mom’s made it clear to me that there’s no trust fund, there’s none of that.”
When Howard pressed Cooper on whether he wished he was in line for an inheritance, Cooper countered that the promise of money would just be a “curse.”
“From the time I was growing up,” Cooper said, “if I felt there was some pot of gold waiting for me, I don’t know if I would’ve been so motivated.”
“I’m doing fine on my own,” Cooper added.
Howard and Robin, who each insisted that Vanderbilt will leave money to her son, asked Cooper if he had children, whether he’d leave them any money.
“I would make it clear to them early on, I would want them to start working early on, and start to have a sense of responsibility,” Cooper said. “And maybe, if I felt they had a good responsibility, maybe I would try to leave some money.”
Is he bitter toward his mother since there’s no inheritance?
“She’s the coolest person I know,” Cooper said.
As for the railroad thing … Cooper’s great-great-great grandfather, Cornelius Vanderbilt, founded Grand Central Terminal in New York City. As such, Howard insisted railroads are “in [Cooper's] blood!” Of course, Cooper doesn’t own any railroads; to add to that, though, Cooper said he doesn’t pay much attention to the history of his famous family; specifically Cornelius.
“My dad grew up really poor in Mississippi,” Cooper said. “I paid attention to that because I thought that’s a healthier thing to pay attention to than some statue of a great-great-great grandfather who has no connection in my life.”