Poor Little Rich Girl

After the death of her father, railroad heir Reginald Claypoole Vanderbilt, Gloria received a $5 million trust fund (worth around $73 million today). She traipsed around Paris with her mother until her paternal aunt, Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, fought for custody, citing her mother's excess use of finances and a secret lesbian affair with a member of the British royal family. The 1934 custody trial thrust Gloria into the spotlight and earned her the nickname "poor little rich girl" during the Great Depression. Her aunt won, and she lived with her in Long Island through her youth.

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