Mario Cuomo (Courtesy Photo)
Mario Cuomo (Courtesy Photo)
Mario Cuomo (Courtesy Photo)

Special to the NNPA from the New York Amsterdam News

Former New York State Governor and Democratic Party champion Mario Cuomo has died. He was 82.

The father to current Governor Andrew Cuomo, Mario died Thursday on New Year’s Day just hours after his son was inaugurated to his second term.

Cuomo was the 52nd Governor of New York serving three terms from 1983 to 1994. He also served as Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of State of New York. Cuomo is being best remembered for his liberal stance during the 1980s and a leader in the Democratic Party.

Reports indicate Cuomo died from natural causes due to heart failure. In November he was hospitalized for heart treatment.

Cuomo first gained public recognition for his resolution of the Forest Hills housing controversy in 1972. He was appointed to serve as the Secretary of State of New York in 1975 and in 1978 he was elected as Lieutenant Governor. He later received national attention for his 1984 Keynote Address at the Democratic National Convention in San Francisco.

Current New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo has directed that flags on state government buildings be flown at half-staff in honor of his father.

Several Black politicians and leaders released statements of condolences for Cuomo.

“He rose to be chief executive of the state he loved, a determined champion of progressive values, and an unflinching voice for tolerance, inclusiveness, fairness, dignity, and opportunity,” said President Barack Obama in statement. “His own story taught him that as Americans, we are bound together as one people, and our country’s success rests on the success of all of us, not just a fortunate few.”

“The passing of Governor Mario Cuomo is a true loss to the nation, the state and lovers of civil rights and liberties. 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,” said the Rev. Al Sharpton.

Cuomo’s will be laid to rest on Tuesday, January 6 at Saint Ignatius Loyola Church in Manhattan.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Senate Majority Coalition Leader Dean Skelos, and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver announced Friday that due to the passing the Governor’s 2015 State of the State address has been rescheduled to Wednesday, January 21.

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