April 2nd, 2014
12:00 PM ET
Anderson Cooper comes from a wealthy family, but the CNN anchor is a self-made man.
As he explained to Howard Stern on Stern's radio show Monday, his mother, Gloria Vanderbilt, told him early on he wasn't getting an inheritance.
Although Gloria was born into an affluent family - she's a descendant of railroad tycoon Cornelius Vanderbilt - she has no plans to supply her son with a trust fund like she was.
"My mom made it very clear to me that she would pay for my college and stuff and that was it," Cooper told Stern. "There's no inheritance."
Stern couldn't believe his ears, but Cooper assured him that he's fine with it. After all, knowing from the time that he was very small that he wouldn't have his mother's fortune to fall back on helped push him to make his money: he started looking for modeling work at 10.
"I used to worry a ton. I got a job when I was 10 because I was obsessed with the looming financial collapse," Cooper recalled. "I was convinced that everything was going to collapse, and I needed to sock away money." To get an inheritance, he said, likely would've killed his drive.
"I don't believe in inheriting money. 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 that there was some pot of gold waiting for me, I don't know that I would have been so motivated."
But what about his mom, who went on to launch a profitable line of designer jeans?
"I think that's an anomaly," Cooper said.
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