Mario, who previously served three terms as governor of New York before his son and died at the age of 82 on New Year’s Day in 2015, was honored by Andrew, 63, on Twitter and Instagram alongside a photo of the father-son pair.
“New Year’s Day holds a special meaning for me. Six years ago today we lost my father, Mario Cuomo,” Andrew began. “He inspired me and a generation of Americans with his dedication to public service and steadfast commitment to doing the most good for the most people.”
“I hear you every day, Pop,” the current governor concluded.
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New Year’s Day holds a special meaning for me. Six years ago today we lost my father, Mario Cuomo. He inspired me and a generation of Americans with his dedication to public service and steadfast commitment to doing the most good for the most people.
I hear you every day, Pop. pic.twitter.com/DO10tlw2Rg
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) January 1, 2021
Mario, whose death was confirmed by the New York state governor’s office, died at his home on Jan. 1, 2015, from natural causes due to heart failure. He is survived by five children, including sons Andrew and Chris Cuomo, and more than a dozen grandchildren.
The son of Italian immigrants was best known as a liberal giant and a master orator. He died on the same day that his son Andrew was beginning his second term as governor, USA Today reported at the time.
“He couldn’t be here physically today, my father,” Andrew said during his inaugural address on the day of Mario’s death. “But my father is in this room. He is in the heart and mind of every person who is here. He is here … and his inspiration and his legacy and his experience is what has brought this state to this point. So let’s give him a round of applause.”
Mario served as New York governor from 1983 to 1994 and “was credited with simultaneously improving the business environment of New York and the quality of life for its citizens, despite a national recession at the time,” Andrew said in a statement.
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In a statement following Mario’s death, then-President Barack Obama said, “Michelle and I were saddened to learn of the passing of former New York Governor Mario Cuomo. An Italian Catholic kid from Queens, born to immigrant parents, Mario paired his faith in God and faith in America to live a life of public service – and we are all better for it.”
“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,” President Obama added.
Mario’s decision in 1991 to decline a run for the presidency paved the way for Bill Clinton to win the Democratic Party’s nomination and the White House a year later. The elder Cuomo retired from politics after he was defeated by George Pataki in a bid for a fourth term as governor.
When once asked what he wanted in his obituary, Mario replied, “People ask me what I want as an epitaph,” before giving the answer: ” ‘He tried.’ “