US fashion icon and socialite Gloria Vanderbilt dies aged 95

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By Euronews
US fashion icon and socialite Gloria Vanderbilt dies aged 95
Copyright  REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni/File Photo

American fashion designer, heiress, and socialite Gloria Vanderbilt died on Monday at the age of 95, her son CNN correspondent Anderson Cooper has said.

Her death came following a battle with stomach cancer, according to NBC.

The "poor little rich girl" lived a life at the highest levels of fashion, society and wealth as an heir to one of the greatest family fortunes in US history.

Cooper said in a statement: 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.

"She died this morning, the way she wanted to - at home, surrounded by family and friends."

Vanderbilt became known in connection with a line of fashions, perfumes, and household goods bearing her name in the 70s, notably for being an early developer of designer blue jeans.

Paul McCartney released a single "Mrs Vandebilt" in 1974, which was inspired by, and loosely based on her life.

Vanderbilt was born into one of America's richest and most powerful families.

Her father, Reginald Vanderbilt, died when she was 10 sparking a sensational custody battle that was dubbed “the trial of the century.”

Gloria Morgan Vanderbilt, her mother, and paternal aunt Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney fought for the child's care, with courts eventually awarding custody of the girl, and control of her multi-million-dollar trust, to her aunt.