NEW YORK – Just hours after missing his son’s – Andrew’s – second inauguration as Governor of New York because of a serious heart condition, Mario Cuomo – a former three-time governor of the state and beacon of progressive Democrats on the national state in the 1980s, died at age 82.
Cuomo was elected governor in 1982 and served three terms, losing in 1994, his fourth bid, to Republican George Pataki.
While Secretary of New York State under Governor Hugh Carey, he ran for Mayor of New York City in 1977, at Carey’s prompting, but lost the Democratic primary to Ed Koch, who went on to serve three terms of his own.
In 1984, Cuomo delivered the Keynote Address at the Democratic National Convention, sharply countering President Reagan’s characterization of America as a “shining city on a hill,” instead focusing on the haves v. the have-nots and referring to the U.S. as “a tale of two cities.”
After losing to Pataki in 1994, Cuomo returned to working as an attorney and author, and sat on numerous boards. He is survived by his wife, Matilda, and in addition to his son, Governor Andrew Cuomo, four other children: Maria, Margaret, Madeline, and Christopher.