• Mario Cuomo dies "from natural causes due to heart failure," his family says

  • He shot to national fame at the 1984 Democratic National Convention

  • Cuomo is remembered as "the last liberal giant of New York politics"




(CNN) -- Former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo -- who rose from the Depression-era streets of Queens to serve three times as governor and whose passionate keynote address at the 1984 Democratic political convention vaulted him onto the national political scene -- died Thursday. He was 82.


Cuomo had been hospitalized recently to treat a heart condition. His family said he passed away, at home, from "natural causes due to heart failure."


Cuomo was governor for three terms, from 1983 to 1995.


He was married to his wife, Matilda, for more than six decades. They had five children, including current New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who was sworn in for his second term Thursday, and Chris Cuomo, host of CNN's "New Day."





Former Gov. Mario Cuomo dead at 82

Asked once how he wanted to be remembered, Mario Cuomo replied: "One of the simple things I wanted to achieve is -- I want to be governor. I want to be the hardest working there ever was. And I want, when it's over -- and I figured on four years at first -- I want people to say, now, there was an honest person."









Former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo died Thursday, January 1, according to his son and CNN anchor Chris Cuomo. Mario Cuomo had been hospitalized recently to treat a heart condition. He was 82. Click through to see the life and times of one of America's storied politicians:Former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo died Thursday, January 1, according to his son and CNN anchor Chris Cuomo. Mario Cuomo had been hospitalized recently to treat a heart condition. He was 82. Click through to see the life and times of one of America's storied politicians:



Mario Cuomo is seen with his family in 1977. Mario Cuomo is seen with his family in 1977.



Democratic mayoral candidates Ed Koch, left, and Cuomo take part in a debate at the New York Daily News. Democratic mayoral candidates Ed Koch, left, and Cuomo take part in a debate at the New York Daily News.



Cuomo and his wife, Matilda, celebrate his upset victory over Koch in the Democratic gubernatorial primary in 1982. Koch, who had been leading in most polls right up to election eve, immediately pledged his support to Cuomo as he faced shocked supporters.Cuomo and his wife, Matilda, celebrate his upset victory over Koch in the Democratic gubernatorial primary in 1982. Koch, who had been leading in most polls right up to election eve, immediately pledged his support to Cuomo as he faced shocked supporters.



Cuomo kisses his wife, Matilda, during his inauguration as New York governor in 1983. Cuomo kisses his wife, Matilda, during his inauguration as New York governor in 1983.



Cuomo delivers his keynote address to the Democratic National Convention on July 16, 1984, in San Francisco. The speech garnered Cuomo national attention and sparked talk of him making a presidential run. He later declined to run. Cuomo delivers his keynote address to the Democratic National Convention on July 16, 1984, in San Francisco. The speech garnered Cuomo national attention and sparked talk of him making a presidential run. He later declined to run.



Democratic vice presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro and New York Gov. Mario Cuomo march in New York's Columbus Day parade on October 9, 1984.Democratic vice presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro and New York Gov. Mario Cuomo march in New York's Columbus Day parade on October 9, 1984.



Coumo speaks at the National Press Club in 1985. Coumo speaks at the National Press Club in 1985.



New York Mayor Ed Koch shakes hands with Cuomo on the steps of City Hall in New York on October 7, 1985. Cuomo announced his endorsement of Koch for mayor. New York Mayor Ed Koch shakes hands with Cuomo on the steps of City Hall in New York on October 7, 1985. Cuomo announced his endorsement of Koch for mayor.



New York's Mayor Ed Koch, left; behind him, New York's Lt. Gov. Stanley Lundine; Cuomo, center; and Sen. Alfonse D'Amato, right, share a laugh at the Columbus Day Parade along New York's Fifth Avenue on October 12, 1987.New York's Mayor Ed Koch, left; behind him, New York's Lt. Gov. Stanley Lundine; Cuomo, center; and Sen. Alfonse D'Amato, right, share a laugh at the Columbus Day Parade along New York's Fifth Avenue on October 12, 1987.



Democratic presidential candidate Michael Dukakis, left, and Cuomo talk on the ferry back to Manhattan on September 4, 1988, after attending ceremonies on Ellis Island, paying tribute to the 17 million immigrants who passed through there. Democratic presidential candidate Michael Dukakis, left, and Cuomo talk on the ferry back to Manhattan on September 4, 1988, after attending ceremonies on Ellis Island, paying tribute to the 17 million immigrants who passed through there.



U.S. President Bill Clinton, center, chats with Cuomo and Texas Gov. Ann Richards, while Chelsea Clinton sits on floor, on January 31, 1993, at the White House while watching the Super Bowl. U.S. President Bill Clinton, center, chats with Cuomo and Texas Gov. Ann Richards, while Chelsea Clinton sits on floor, on January 31, 1993, at the White House while watching the Super Bowl.



President Bill Clinton waves from the stage with Coumo at the Sheraton New York on October 19, 1994. President Bill Clinton waves from the stage with Coumo at the Sheraton New York on October 19, 1994.



New York Attorney General Elect Andrew Cuomo joins hands with his father during a rally held by Democrats in New York on November 7, 2006. New York Attorney General Elect Andrew Cuomo joins hands with his father during a rally held by Democrats in New York on November 7, 2006.



Cuomo introduces his son and governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, at the AOL Huffington Post Game Changers Awards on October 18, 2011, in New York. Cuomo introduces his son and governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, at the AOL Huffington Post Game Changers Awards on October 18, 2011, in New York.



Gov. Andrew Cuomo kisses his father, celebrating his defeat of Republican challenger Rob Astorino, at Democratic election headquarters in New York on November 4, 2014. Gov. Andrew Cuomo kisses his father, celebrating his defeat of Republican challenger Rob Astorino, at Democratic election headquarters in New York on November 4, 2014.




Mario Cuomo's life and career

Mario Cuomo's life and career

Mario Cuomo's life and career

Mario Cuomo's life and career

Mario Cuomo's life and career

Mario Cuomo's life and career

Mario Cuomo's life and career

Mario Cuomo's life and career

Mario Cuomo's life and career

Mario Cuomo's life and career

Mario Cuomo's life and career

Mario Cuomo's life and career

Mario Cuomo's life and career

Mario Cuomo's life and career

Mario Cuomo's life and career

Mario Cuomo's life and career






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Mario Cuomo\'s life and career Mario Cuomo's life and career






Mario Cuomo's 1984 convention speech

Democratic standard-bearer


Cuomo burst onto the national political stage with his keynote address at the 1984 Democratic National Convention.


To say he was a powerful speaker would be an understatement.


A Queens native, Cuomo was born in New York City, in the apartment above his father's grocery store. After a brief shot at a career in minor league baseball, he pursued a law degree and graduated at the top of his class at St. John's University School of Law.


Although the allure of public service was strong, Cuomo's early attempts at seeking political office ended in defeat.


His first electoral success came in 1978 as running mate to former Gov. Hugh Carey. Four years later, Carey stepped aside, and Cuomo entered the race and won.


He held the governorship for three terms, winning two more handily by emphasizing lower taxes, balanced budgets, public education and affirmative action. He was a strong opponent of the death penalty.


In 1993, Cuomo passed up the opportunity to be appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court, choosing instead to run for a fourth term as governor. He lost in 1994.


Having fun in the face of defeat, Cuomo made a popular commercial for Doritos, which also starred Ann Richards, who lost the Texas governorship the same year.


'You can now sleep with the greats'


President Barack Obama praised Cuomo for his faith in God and championing of progressive values in a statement issued by the White House.


"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 President said.


Cuomo announced Bill Clinton's nomination for President at the 1992 Democratic Convention.


"It was Mario Cuomo's great gift and our good fortune that he was both a sterling orator and a passionate public servant. His life was a blessing," Clinton said in a statement.


Obamas praise Mario Cuomo


Jon Favreau, a former speechwriter for President Barack Obama, praised Cuomo's 1984 address as one of his all-time favorite speeches.


"Used to read it constantly for inspiration," he tweeted.


Cuomo's death touched people across the political spectrum.


"Our country and our region lost a giant today with the passing of Governor Mario Cuomo," New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said in a statement. "He was a strong, eloquent leader who loved New York and its people. As an Italian-American, he was also a role model for future generations that anything was possible through hard work and education."


The Rev. Al Sharpton remembered the former governor as "the last liberal giant of New York politics."


"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," he said. "Mario, you have earned it and your place in history is secure. You can now sleep with the greats."


New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has ordered flags flying in the city that were lowered to half staff in honor of slain NYPD officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu to remain lowered for 30 days to honor Cuomo's memory.


He commended his humanity in a statement:


"Mario Cuomo was a man of unwavering principle who possessed a compassion for humankind that was without equal."


CNN's Wolf Blitzer and Catherine E. Shoichet contributed to this report.



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