Andrew Cuomo is the current governor of New York. He comes from a rather well-known family, not least because his father Mario Cuomo held the same position for three terms from 1983 to 1994. Here are 10 things you might not know about Mr. Cuomo:
1. Of Italian Descent
Cuomo is an Italian surname, so it should come as no surprise to learn that Cuomo is of Italian descent. To be exact, his paternal grandparents came from Campania, which is a southern Italian region famous for its culture as well as its natural beauty. Meanwhile, his maternal grandparents came from Sicily, which would be the island situated to the south of the Italian peninsula.
2. He Is Mario Cuomo’s Son
As stated earlier, Cuomo is the son of Mario Cuomo. In short, Mario Cuomo was a Democratic governor who became well-known because of his Democratic National Convention speech criticizing President Ronald Reagan’s policies, saying that the United States was more a “Tale of Two Cities” than a “Shining City on a Hill.” For a time, he was seen as a forerunner for the position of the Democratic presidential nominee, but his reluctance to pursue said course of action caused him to be called “Hamlet on the Hudson” in reference to the famous Shakespearean character.
3. He Is Chris Cuomo’s Brother
Cuomo is the brother of Chris Cuomo, a TV journalist best-known for being the presenter of a news analysis show on CNN. However, it is interesting to note that Mario and Matilda Cuomo had a total of five children, who are Andrew, Maria, Margaret, Madeline, and Christopher. Maria tends to be best-known for being married to Kenneth Cole, while Madeline tends to be best-known for being a radiologist who advocates for cancer prevention as well as other health issues.
4. Has a Love of Cars
It is interesting to note that Cuomo has a love of cars, which he picked up when he was working at a gas station. During college, his personal interest caused him to rebuild a blue 1975 Corvette, which remains one of his prized possessions in the present time.
5. Has Been Involved in Politics For a Very Long Time
Cuomo has been involved in politics for a very long time. After all, he started out by running his father’s campaign to become the mayor of New York City in 1977. Said race was very contentious, as shown by the placards that popped up stating “Vote for Cuomo, not the homo” in reference to Mario Cuomo’s opponent Ed Koch’s rumored sexuality. Mario Cuomo denied the idea that his campaign was responsible for the placards, but Koch never forgave him for it. Later, Cuomo helped his father run for the governor of New York in 1982 as well, with the result that he was paid $1 on an annual basis in exchange for his services.
6. Spent Some Time Running HELP
For a time, Cuomo worked at a law firm. However, it wasn’t too long before he founded a nonprofit called Housing Enterprise for the Less Privileged (HELP) before leaving the law firm to run it on a full-time basis. Said experience served as something of a springboard for Cuomo’s political career, as shown by his later positions as the chair of the New York City Homeless Commission and then the Assistant Secretary for Community Planning and Development under the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Some people have said that Cuomo’s time running HELP served as a transition between who he was and who he is in the present time, which are very different to say the least.
7. Fought to Change the Rockefeller Drug Laws
The Rockeller drug laws resulted in tough prison sentences even for low-level drug dealers as well as drug addicts. Like their name says, they were pushed by New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller, but they went on to inspire legislation throughout the rest of the United States. Initially, such laws received a surprising amount of support from the black and Hispanic communities, which were very concerned by a drug problem that seemed as though it was spiralling out of control in those times. However, opinions changed when said laws resulted in a disproportionate number of black and Hispanic people being sent to prison, with the result that Cuomo’s efforts to change the Rockefeller drug laws remain one of the cornerstones of his support among black and Hispanic communities.
8. Is Roman Catholic
Religion-wise, Cuomo is a Roman Catholic. However, he is famous for supporting both abortion and same sex marriage, which are contrary to what the Roman Catholic Church has to say on those issues. On the whole, Cuomo’s positions can be considered an interesting example of the culture war that exists between conservative Catholics and more liberal-leaning Catholics that has been running in the United States and beyond for decades at this point in time.
9. Famous Supporter of Same Sex Marriage
Speaking of which, Cuomo is a pretty famous supporter of same sex marriage, which is one of the reasons that he is well-regarded by a lot of gay Americans out there. For example, he fulfilled a campaign promise to pass same sex marriage legislation in the state of New York in 2011, which was followed by him calling for the same to happen throughout the other states. Likewise, Cuomo is remembered for outright calling the opinions of same sex marriage opponents as being “anti-American” in nature, which happened after the passage of the Marriage Equality Act. On top of this, he even boycotted North Carolina because of their anti-LGBT legislation, thus making his support for LGBT communities even clearer.
10. Considered Lifting State Ban on Hydraulic Fracturing
For a time, Cuomo considered lifting a state ban on hydraulic fracturing for a economic boost in upstate New York. However, when a long-running study on the matter revealed some serious risks to public health, the Cuomo administration promptly dropped the idea in preference for the ban on hydraulic fracturing.