Mario Cuomo Remembered: Dies At 82

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The late Mario Cuomo with Andrew Cuomo

Top elected officials and civil rights leaders expressed condolences and also paid tribute to Mario Cuomo, the fifty-second mayor of New York City, who died today at the age of 82.  

"Tonight, New York has lost a giant. Mario Cuomo was a man of unwavering principle who possessed a compassion for humankind that was without equal," said New York City mayor, Bill de Blasio. “He established the gold standard in New York State for how public servants should act, and set an example that the rest of us continue to aspire to today."

Mayor De Blasio continued: “He was a man who campaigned with poetry and governed with beautiful prose. He was a man who always stood for what he believed in, no matter what challenges were before him. He taught us how the family of New York—and indeed the family of Americans—must always support those most in need of help. And he was a leader who always brought New York State to a better place.

“As he would often remind us, the state’s motto was ‘Excelsior’ or ‘Ever Upward.’ Mario Cuomo personified the idea of New York, always urging us to look ‘ever upward.’ Excelsior, Governor Cuomo. We will never forget his legacy.

“On behalf of the people of New York City and my family, our thoughts and prayers are with Matilda Cuomo, Governor Cuomo, and the entire Cuomo family.

"As a mark of respect for former New York State Governor Mario Cuomo, who died today, January 1, 2015, by order of the Mayor of the City of New York, Bill de Blasio, all flags, already lowered for NYPD Detectives Ramos and Liu, shall remain at half-staff for 30 days. This includes all flags, the American flag, the New York State and City flags, and the POW-MIA flags on all City buildings and stationary flagstaffs throughout the five boroughs. Flags will return to the full-staff position on Sunday, February 1, 2015."

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer also released the following statement: “From the hard streets of Queens, Mario Cuomo rose to the very pinnacle of political power in New York because he believed in his bones in the greatness of this state, the greatness of America and the unique potential of every individual. From soaring oratory that stirred the very soul to painstaking coalition building to advance policies and accomplishments, he was a colossal political mind and represented the very best of public service; he leaves an indelible legacy on the state he loved. My prayers and thoughts are with the Governor, the whole Cuomo family, and all who knew and loved Mario. Our hearts go out to Governor Andrew Cuomo who gave a great speech today that I am certain his father was proud of.”

“The passing of Governor Mario Cuomo is a true loss to the nation, the state and lovers of civil rights and liberties," said Reverend Al Sharpton, president of the National Action Network. "He was the last liberal giant of New York politics and was a true statesman/politician. We debated often but he never would reduce our disagreements to petty personal grudges. He was a philosopher at heart that always saw the bigger picture. Even when we would engage in debate I felt he was playing chess while I was playing checkers. His legacy is a better New York and a better nation. It seems ironic he died on his son’s inauguration address day, he would have wanted to pass the torch on a day that we were all paying attention. Rest well Governor. Mario, you have earned it and your place in history is secure. You can now sleep with the greats.”

Assemblyman Walter T. Mosley said: "The passing of former Governor Mario M. Cuomo is a great lost. He served during difficult times in our nation's history and left a great legacy in New York. My thoughts and prayers are with Matilda Cuomo, Governor Andrew Cuomo and his family."


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