Anderson Cooper 2010. Photo by Tulane Public Relations [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
Anderson Cooper 2010. Photo by Tulane Public Relations [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
Journalist and CNN News Anchor Anderson Cooper may come from money, but he’s won’t be getting any of it anytime soon.

Cooper is the son of Gloria Vanderbilt and comes from American royalty, but says he won’t ever see part of the Vanderbilt family’s huge fortune – and he’s fine with it.

He recently gave an interview with PEOPLE and Entertainment Weekly editorial director Jess Cagle, while sitting with his mother,

Cooper said he was told early on as a young boy by his parents he wouldn’t receive an inheritance.

“I think my mom and dad both wanted to get across to me that … I obviously grew up with great privilege and was very lucky and was able to afford college and not have student loans and they would pay for college, but beyond that, it would be up to me to make a living,” said Cooper, 48 in the PEOPLE interview.

If you don’t know your Vanderbilt history, Gloria, 92, is the great-great-great granddaughter of shipping tycoon Cornelius Vanderbilt, and grew up under the custody of her aunt, Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney.

Her fourth marriage was to writer Wyatt Cooper, Anderson’s father, which lasted until he died in 1978. Of his parents’ insistence that he make his own way, Cooper told Cagle, “I was always very appreciative of that because I never – I always looked at people who inherited money and they never seemed to really accomplish much on their own and it seemed to sort of change the person they were.

“I’m glad I never had that expectation hanging over me or that safety net to fall back on,” he continued. “I always thought, ‘I’m on my own and that’s the way it should be.’”

Cooper became a model as child model for brands like Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein. He also said he was able to save money from lemonade stands and even worked as a waiter while in high school. “It was important to me and I think important to my parents that I be on my own and figure things out on my own and kind of forge my own path, and I’m really grateful for that,” he said.

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