By Emily Mee, news reporter

US fashion icon and socialite Gloria Vanderbilt has died at the age of 95, her son has confirmed.

The heiress, who was the great-great-granddaughter of financier Cornelius Vanderbilt, made headlines throughout her life and survived family tragedy.

Her death on Monday was announced by her son, CNN anchor Anderson Cooper, in a first-person obituary that aired on the network.

CNN reported that she died at home surrounded by friends and family and had been suffering from advanced stomach cancer.

In a statement, Cooper said: "Gloria Vanderbilt was an extraordinary woman, who loved life, and lived it on her own terms."


"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."

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Vanderbilt went through four marriages and three divorces, most notably to celebrated conductor Leopold Stokowski and award-winning film and television director Sidney Lumet.

She first married at the age of 17, leading her aunt to disinherit her.

Image: Gloria Vanderbilt walks alongside American singer and actor Frank Sinatra

In a 2004 interview with the Associated Press, she said: "I've had many, many loves. I always feel that something wonderful is going to happen. And it always does."

She also experienced personal tragedy in 1988 when she witnessed the suicide of one of her four sons.

Carter, a Princeton graduate, killed himself at the age of 23 by jumping from his mother's 14th-floor apartment as she tried to stop him.

Vanderbilt turned her hand to a number of talents, including painting and acting on stage.

She appeared in The Time of Your Life on Broadway and featured in the television shows Playhouse 90, Studio One and US Steel Hour.

The socialite was also a fabric designer with an enthusiasm for designer denim.

Her designer-branded jeans with their signature white swan label became a sensation, generating over $200m (£159m) in sales at their peak in 1980.

She later branched out into shoes, scarves, table and bed linens, and china.

Vanderbilt wrote a number of books, including a chronicle of her love life named It Seemed Important At The Time: A Romance Memoir, which name-dropped the likes of Frank Sinatra and Errol Flynn.

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