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Mario Cuomo

mario cuomo.jpg Governor Mario M. Cuomo was the longest serving democratic governor in the modern history of New York State. He was elected New York State's 52nd Governor in 1982 and twice won re-election, setting records for popularity in both contests. Beginning with his widely admired keynote address at the 1984 Democratic National Convention and his celebrated speech on the relationship of religion and politics at Notre Dame, he has helped define the progressive political landscape for two decades.

In twelve years at the helm of the nation's most populous state, Governor Cuomo steered the State through two recessions, balanced twelve consecutive budgets, and created more than half a million jobs. He launched the largest economic development initiative in New York history, spurring private sector growth through billions of dollars of public investment in infrastructure enhancements and the creation of an unparalleled network of high-tech research facilities. During Cuomo's tenure, foreign investment in New York almost doubled and thousands of new export opportunities were created for New York firms. He furthered the national debate on economic policy and trends through the findings of the Cuomo Commission on Trade and Competitiveness - The Cuomo Commission Report (1988) and America's Agenda: Rebuilding Economic Strength (1992).

During the decade that rocked the nation with the exploding crises of crack cocaine, homelessness and AIDS, Governor Cuomo also enhanced New York's reputation as a leader in socially progressive legislation. He created the country's most extensive drug treatment network, its largest program of housing assistance for the homeless, a nationally recognized plan for AIDS prevention and treatment, and tough but constructive new approaches to criminal justice, particularly in the area of drug-related crime. Cuomo also launched Child Health-Plus and the Children’s Assistance Program, America's first real alternatives to welfare reform later used as models for Federal welfare programs. He also initiated a revolutionary ten-year commitment to New York's children called "The Decade of the Child."

Having designated a total of 112 judges, Governor Cuomo also set a new standard for both diversity and judicial achievement on the state's highest court, appointing all seven members of New York's highly regarded Court of Appeals, including the first and second women judges, the first black, the first Hispanic and the first woman to serve as Chief Judge.

Governor Cuomo practiced law until 1975, when he was appointed by Governor Hugh Carey as New York's Secretary of State. As Secretary of State, he helped write the first public disclosure laws in New York State and drafted the first reform of New York’s lobbying laws in over seventy years. In 1978, he was elected as Lieutenant Governor, a position he held until going on to win the governorship himself in 1982.

Since leaving public office, Governor Cuomo has returned to the practice of law, as a Partner in the New York office of the international firm of Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP. He is also a member of the Board of Editors of the New York Law Journal and an accomplished author as well. His latest book, published in 2004, is titled Why Lincoln Matters, Today More Than Ever.

Married since 1954, Governor Cuomo and his wife, Matilda Raffa Cuomo, are the parents of five children: Dr. Margaret I. Cuomo, married to Howard Maier; Andrew Cuomo, Maria Cuomo, married to Kenneth Cole; Madeline Cuomo, married to Brian O'Donoghue; and Christopher Cuomo, married to Cristina Greeven. The Cuomos have twelve granddaughters and one grandson.

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