ALBANY, New York (Reuters) – Mario Cuomo, the three-time governor of New York and a leading voice of the Democratic Party’s liberal wing who turned down several invitations to seek the US presidency, died on Thursday at his home in Manhattan. He was 82.
His death came on the day his el-dest son, Andrew Cuomo, delivered inaugural addresses in Manhattan and Buffalo, New York, after being sworn in for his own second term as governor.
The governor’s office said in a statement the elder Cuomo, who served as New York’s 52nd chief executive from 1983 through 1994, had died of “natural causes due to heart failure this evening at home with his loving family at his side”.
The former governor, long a ce-lebrated orator who was a favourite of the Democratic Party’s progres-sive contingent, was hospitalised on November 30 for treatment of a heart condition.
His younger son, Chris Cuomo, of CNN’s “New Day”, informed the network shortly before 5pm Thursday that his father had died, CNN reported. During that time Andrew Cuomo was speaking at the Erie and Buffalo County Historical Society.
In his inauguration address on Thursday, Andrew Cuomo said he had read his speech to his father the night before.
“He said it was good, especially for a second termer,” the younger Cuomo said. “He couldn’t be here physically today, my father. But my father is in this room. He is in the heart and mind of every person who is here.”
President Barack Obama, in a statement issued from Hawaii, where he was vacationing, saluted the for-mer governor as “an unflinching voice for tolerance, inclusiveness, fairness, dignity and opportunity”.