Former New York Governor Father, Governor’s Mario Cuomo Dies at 82
|Governor’s Mario Cuomo Dies at 82|
His family confirmed the death, which occurred only hours after Mr. Cuomo’s son Andrew M. Cuomo was inaugurated in Manhattan for a second term as governor.
He was the three-term governor of New York who commanded the attention of the country with a compelling public presence, a forceful defense of liberalism and his exhaustive ruminations about whether to run for president.
Still, no matter the problems he found in Albany, Mr. Cuomo burst beyond the state’s boundaries to personify the liberal wing of his national party and become a source of unending fascination and, ultimately, frustration for Democrats, whose leaders twice pressed him to run for president, in 1988 and 1992, to no avail.
|The Cuomo family in 1977, from left: Madeline, 13; Margaret, 22; |
Christopher, 7; Maria, 15; Mario; Matilda; and Andrew, 19.
When the 1994 election season began, he seemed unaware of how much his popularity had eroded. He was stunned, he said, that someone like Mr. Pataki could pose a serious challenge to someone with his credentials. Mr. Pataki defeated him by five percentage points.
Mr. Cuomo returned to Manhattan to work for the law firm of Willkie Farr & Gallagher, write books and give speeches. He grew wealthy and, he said, happy. He was always attuned to how he was perceived by the public, and when invited to sum up his own life for this obituary, he characteristically turned to self-deprecating humor.
“People asked me what I want as an epitaph,” Mr. Cuomo said. He then reprised a line he had used many years earlier traveling across upstate New York, a fresh public figure displaying astonishing talent and obvious potential.