Astor Biographer 'Disappointed' Anderson Cooper's Book Leans so Hard on Hers
Kilian Melloy READ TIME: 2 MIN.
Brooke Astor biographer Meryl Gordon expressed her "disappointment" that Anderson Cooper "seems to come up with my book" in his own volume on the iconic American family, UK newspaper the Daily Mail reports.
The article relayed that "Gordon, whose 'meticulous' 2009 book 'Mrs. Astor Regrets' featured dozens of interviews with Astor relatives, employees and associates, was asked what she thought about Cooper's new book."
In response, Gordon told the British newspaper, "I was disappointed that he added so little to the story."
Gordon also "told novelist Doug Brunt on his podcast 'Dedicated with Doug Brunt' " she had "very complicated feelings about" Cooper's book, detailed the New York Post.
Saying that Cooper "is a terrific reporter," Gordon said, "I've always really admired him so I was curious to see what he could do with this topic," but his reportage seemed somewhat thin. "He only did one original interview with Annette de la Renta," who, the Mail filled in, is "the now 83-year-old widow of fashion designer Oscar de la Renta."
Renta, the Daily Mail added, "served as Brooke Astor's court-appointed guardian for a year until her death in August 2007, age 105."
The Daily Mail notes that Cooper "is described by the publishers as having 'a passing acquaintance with Brooke Astor, the last doyenne of the family' – likely through his mother, Gloria Vanderbilt, who died in 2019 aged 95."
The amount of reference to Gordon's book the Anderson Cooper book uses was, Gordon said, "flattering," but, the article noted, the author also found it "annoying."
"I'm disappointed," Gordon disclosed, adding, "I was curious to see what he would come up with for this topic – and he seems to come up with my book."
Citing the lack of original interviews in Cooper's book, Gordon said, "so many people who are still around and would have spoken to him." She added by way of example that "Philip Marshall, Brooke Astor's grandson, said he'd never heard from Anderson or anyone involved in that book."
Responding to her comments, Brunt quipped, "It sounds like a cliff-notes version of your book got into their book."
Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.