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The Globe and Mail

Anderson Cooper says he won’t be inheriting his famous family’s fortune

Anderson Cooper poses on the red carpet at the CFDA Fashion awards at the Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall in New York City June 6, 2011


Silver-haired news fox Anderson Cooper isn't expecting any financial windfall from his fabulously wealthy family.

The CNN fixture told radio host Howard Stern this week that his famous mother – socialite and fashion designer Gloria Vanderbilt – told him early in life that he wasn't going to be receiving any of the family fortune.

"My mom made it very clear to me that she would pay for my college and stuff and that was it," Cooper said. "There's no inheritance."

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Vanderbilt, who turned 90 in February, is a descendant of the railroad magnate Cornelius Vanderbilt. In the seventies, she made her name by launching her own line of designer blue jeans. Her personal worth is estimated to be about $200-million (U.S.).

Stern was clearly stunned by Cooper's revelation, and upon further prodding, the newsman said that since he grew up believing that he wouldn't be receiving an inheritance, he started looking for ways to make his own money, which included working as a child model.

"I used to worry a ton," he said. "I got a job when I was 10 because I was obsessed with looming financial collapse. I was convinced that everything was going to collapse and I needed to sock away money."

Not surprisingly, Cooper said he doesn't believe that families should raise kids who know they're going to be rich.

"I don't believe in inheriting money," he said. "That's a total fantasy … I think it's an initiative-sucker. I think it's a curse. Who's inherited a lot of money who's gone on to do things in their own life? If I felt there was some pot of gold waiting for me, I don't know that I would have been so motivated."

But hold the phone: What about Cooper's own mother, who was already wealthy when she came up with her lucrative Vanderbilt jeans line?

"I think that's an anomaly," he said.

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