Anderson Cooper has explained why he doesn’t plan to leave a “pot of gold” inheritance to his son Wyatt.
The journalist spoke to the Morning Meeting podcast about his family and its relationship to wealth for an episode released on Monday.
Cooper is the son of Gloria Vanderbilt, herself the great-great-granddaughter of Cornelius Vanderbilt, a shipping and railroad magnate and one of the richest Americans of all time.
Asked what his plans are regarding his son’s inheritance, Cooper said: “I don’t believe in passing on huge amounts of money. I don’t know what I’ll have – I’m not that interested in money, but I don’t intend to have some sort of pot of gold for my son.
“I think I’ll go with what my parents said: college will be paid for, and then you’ve got to get on it.”
Cooper welcomed his son in April 2020 thanks to a surrogate.
Back in 2014, Cooper told Howard Stern he received a similar treatment from his own parents. “My mom’s made clear to me that there’s no trust fund. There’s none of that,” he said according to Insider.
“Who has inherited a lot of money that has gone on to do things in their own life?” he added. “From the time I was growing up, if I felt that there was some pot of gold waiting for me, I don’t know that I would’ve been so motivated.”
Gloria Vanderbilt died in June last year aged 95. Cooper inherited the bulk of her estate, which was reportedy worth $1.5m, according to Page Six.
On Morning Meeting, Cooper said he grew up “watching money being lost and knowing it was being lost” and was “very aware” that the family fortune was not his, but rather “something my mom has, but it’s not money I’m going to have, and I need to forge my own way”.
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Cooper has written a book about the Vanderbilt family, titled Vanderbilt: The Rise and Fall of an American Dynasty. It’s out now at Harper.