Cuomo, Mario Matthew (kwōˈmō) [key], 1932–, American politician, b. New York City. The son of an immigrant grocer, Cuomo attended St. John's Univ., was admitted to the New York bar in 1956, and attracted attention after successfully mediating (1972) a local housing dispute. A Democrat, he was New York's secretary of state (1975–79) and lieutenant governor (1979–83). As governor (1983–95), he supported innovations in social service programs, worked to improve the state's infrastructure and environment, vetoed bills restoring capital punishment, and fought to control a budget that supported high-wage public sector jobs. Cuomo was defeated by Republican George Pataki in the 1994 election. His Diaries of Mario M. Cuomo (1984) concerns his gubernatorial race and Reason to Believe (1995) his thoughts on the state of the country. He is also the author of Why Lincoln Matters (2004). Andrew M. Cuomo is his son.
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