Three times Governor of New York State 1982-1994, Mario Cuomo was twice considered to be a presidental candidate.

He was born on June 15, 1932 to Angela and Immaculata Cuomo, immigrant Italian-Americans. He graduated in law from St. John's University, NYC. While practising law, he also became an adjunct professor in the field. He married Matilda Raffa in 1954. They had five children.

In 1975 Cuomo was apointed New York Secretary of State and was subsequently elected lieutenant governor. In 1982 he was elected Governor of New York State as a Democrat. He achieved landslide victories in the next two gubernatorial races.

The eighties was a decade when ruthless capitalism reigned. Reagan espoused supply-side economics which basically meant tax breaks for the rich and heavy military spending. On the other hand, Cuomo believed in the Democrat tradition of state investment and social justice. He invested heavily in New York, billions of dollars on roads, bridges, hospitals and schools. He pioneered AIDS treatment programs and apointed the first African-American, Hispanic and female judges.

His most famous moment came in the 1984 Democratic National Convention in support of Walter Mondale, the beleagured Democratic presidental candidate. The keynote address he delivered is thought by many to be one of the best political speeches of that decade. Read it here.

In 1995, Mario Cuomo presented his own radio talk show.

You campaign in poetry, you govern in prose.
-Mario Cuomo

Editors Note:

Mario Cuomo died on January 1, 2015 in his home in Manhattan, New York of heart failure. He was 82 years old.

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