Why Anderson Cooper Won't Leave His Son An Inheritance

Anderson Cooper surprised the world in the spring of 2020 when he announced on his CNN show that he had just become the father of a baby boy named Wyatt Morgan Cooper, who had been born via a surrogate to him and his former partner, Benjamin Maisani, according to USA Today. The pair have been cohabitating and co-parenting young Wyatt, but despite Cooper's enormous wealth, he wants to make sure Wyatt can make it on his own, just like his mother, heiress and fashion mogul Gloria Vanderbilt, wanted for him.

Cooper is the son of Vanderbilt and writer Wyatt Emory Cooper. Although he grew up in the lap of luxury, his mother made sure he wasn't a trust fund baby who didn't work hard to make his own way in the world. And make his way in the world he did. Affected by his father's death in 1978 when he was only 11, as well as his brother's 1992 suicide, Cooper chose to become a journalist, saying, "I became interested in questions of survival: why some people survive and others don't ... Covering wars just seemed logical" (via Biography). 

And regarding making his own way, Cooper wants to see the same thing for his child.

Anderson Cooper is more interested in hard work than money

Despite inheriting a $1.5 million fortune from his mother when she died in 2019 (via Page Six), Anderson Cooper told Air Mail's Ashley Baker and Michael Hainey on their "Morning Meeting" podcast on September 25, 2021, that he doesn't intend to leave such an inheritance for Wyatt one day.

"I don't believe in passing on huge amounts of money," Cooper said, adding, "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'll go with what my parents said ... 'College will be paid for, and then you gotta get on it.'"

As he told Howard Stern back in 2014, "My mom's made clear to me that there's no trust fund, there's none of that" (via Page Six).

Cooper also admitted that he barely knew he was a member of the storied Vanderbilt family that made its fortune during the country's railroad boom. "As a kid, my dad did take me to Grand Central Station to show me the statue of Commodore Vanderbilt," he said on the podcast. "And that was the first time I had heard the Vanderbilt name."