Anderson Cooper is taking a page out of his late mother’s book when it comes to how much money he plans to leave his son Wyatt.
Cooper, 54, opened up during the most recent episode of Air Mail’s “Morning Meeting” podcast on Saturday, Sept. 25 to discuss the book “Vanderbilt: The Rise and Fall of an American Dynasty,” authored by Cooper and Katherine Howe. The new book explores the history of his mother’s famous family.
During the episode, Cooper talked to hosts Ashley Baker and Michael Hainey about the negative effect that money had on his family and how that played into his decision to not leave his wealth to his son, similar to the route his own mother, Gloria Vanderbilt, took with him after the heiress died in 2019 at age 95.
When it comes to his own fortune, 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,” he said, referring to his one-year-old son Wyatt, who he welcomed via surrogate in April 2020. “I’ll go with what my parents said, which is, ‘College will be paid for, and then you gotta get on it.’”
Cooper was asked if he was afraid of losing money, to which the broadcaster replied, “No, because I grew up watching money being lost and knowing it was being lost and I from a very young age, I was very aware of, ‘This is not me. This is something my mom has, or this is money that my mom has but it’s not money I’m going to have and I need to forge my own way.’”
In 2014, Cooper opened up in an interview with Howard Stern about how he knew he would not receive any inheritance from his mother, explaining, “My mom's made it clear to me that, like, there's no trust fund. There's none of that."
On the podcast, Cooper also discussed the Vanderbilt last name and the reaction it would receive from people, explaining that he was “very glad” to have the last name Cooper instead.
“You could see when somebody learned who my mom was or if I met somebody and told them who my mom was, you could see the calculations going on in their mind, even if they hid it very well,” he explained. “And I didn’t like that change in how I was viewed and I realized early on that no good can come of having this Vanderbilt association.”
He added, “I really just felt like I wanted to walk into a room and have people judge me based on anything else other than this notion of what they think my life must be like or what they think my bank account must have been like because that money was not there, what they were imagining.”
Cooper relayed the hilarious, yet sweet story to host Stephen Colbert, explaining that years ago, a gynecologist had told the 85-year-old that she could still bear a child.
He said that he was worried that he would have to convince his mother not to have a child before she said to him, “'Honey, I’m not talking about having a child of my own. I mean, that’s crazy. I’m 85.’”
“She’s like, ‘Well, you know you can get an egg anywhere nowadays,’” he said. “I was like, ‘Uh-huh.’ She’s like, ‘Well, what I was thinking is you get an egg and, you know, fertilize it with your sperm and I’ll carry your child.”
Cooper said that he was “stunned,” adding, “And I finally said to her, ‘You know, Mom, I love you, but even for you, that is just batsh-t crazy. That’s just nuts.”