Andrew Cuomo for VP?
In 2020, New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo, received much praise from the public and epidemiologists regarding his handling of the coronavirus pandemic. By issuing state-wide lockdowns and shutting down non-essential businesses in order to flatten the curve of the virus, Cuomo and his daily press briefings have become must-see TV. Here are some things you may not have known about the man of the hour.
1. Cuomo was born in Queens.
Andrew Cuomo was born in New York’s Queens borough. During his childhood, the Governor learned the reality of a working family’s struggle in the 70’s. He later went to Fordham University in the Bronx in 1979 and received his JD from Albany Law School in 1982.
2. Italian roots.
Cuomo’s paternal grandparents were from the Campania region. Nocera Inferiore and Tramonti, to be exact. While his maternal grandparents were from Sicily. The name Cuomo most likely came from the city of Como in Lombardy, possibly a shorted form of the name Giacomo which is the Italian equivalent of James.
3. A father’s legacy.
Often referred to as “Hamlet on the Hudson,” Mario Cuomo was known for his liberal views. Andrew’s father served as the 52nd Governor of New York for three terms from 1983 – 1994. His attempt for a fourth term was terminated by George Pataki – a Republican.
Cuomo’s first and only marriage was to the seventh child of Robert F. Kennedy and Ethel Kennedy: Kerry – an activist and writer. During their 15-year marriage, they had three daughters: Cara, Mariah (twins) and Michaela. The couple separated in 2003 then officially divorced in 2005.
5. Secretary of HUD
From 1997 – 2001, Cuomo served as the Secretary of Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) under the Clinton administration. One of his efforts was to require handgun manufacturer, Smith & Wesson, to change the design of guns to be safer and to help keep firearms away from criminals and kids. He also supported an increase in home ownership by attempting to diminish discrimination against minorities while pushing lenders including Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to purchase more home loans for poor homeowners.
6. Car lover
After working at a gas station when he was younger, Cuomo developed a passion for cars. In college, he rebuilt a blue 1975 Corvette which is still one of his prized possessions to this day.
7. Sandra Lee
In 2005, the Governor of New York began dating Food Network host Sandra Lee. The couple moved in together six years later in New York’s Westchester Country. Lee is known for her “semi-homemade” cooking style, which incorporates 70% pre-packaged products with 30% fresh ingredients. In 2019, the couple announced their separation. Now, Cuomo lives in the New York State Executive Mansion in Albany full-time.
8. Roman Catholic
Despite that Cuomo is a Roman Catholic, his political positions favor abortion rights and same-sex marriage. This has been part of his progressive stance in the cultural battle between Catholic teachings and Democratic beliefs.
9. Gun control
After Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in December 2012, Cuomo signed New York’s first state gun control bill (NY SAFE Act) to pass. At the time, it was the toughest gun control law in the country. New York State Sheriffs’ Association supported the bill’s tough penalties toward illegal use of firearms, but challenged several points in the legislation, including a broad definition of assault weapons. Later, Cuomo signed an amendment to the NY SAFE Act that would allow retired police officers to some ownership of firearms.
10. Billy Joel
In July 2015, singer and Cuomo’s long-time friend Billy Joel married his fourth wife, Alexis Roderick. It was the Governor of New York who presided over the wedding.