Mario Cuomo, the former governor of New York, died Thursday. He was 82.
Politicians and former staffers took to social media to grieve the loss of the man who led New York state for three terms, from 1983 to 1994, and who many hoped would run for the White House.
Gov. Pataki, who unseated Cuomo, remembered him as a "great New Yorker."
Our deepest condolences on the passing of Gov Cuomo a proud son of immigrants, possessed of a soaring intellect & a great New Yorker.— George E. Pataki (@GovernorPataki) January 2, 2015
President Barack Obama:
Obama released a statement praising Cuomo for "his faith in God and faith in America to live a life of public service." Obama said Cuomo was a "determined champion of progressive values, and an unflinching voice for tolerance, inclusiveness, fairness, dignity, and opportunity. 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 us all, not just a fortunate few."
Former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton:
Cuomo's life was "the very embodiment of the American dream," the Clintons said in a statement. Bill Clinton noted that when the governor placed his name in nomination at the 1992 Democratic Convention, he said that government had "the solemn obligation to create opportunity for all people." It was an obligation, Clinton added, that Cuomo honored throughout his three terms as governor.
Former Vice President Al Gore:
Gore, who served under Bill Clinton as the nation's 45th vice president, said in a statement that Cuomo's "passion for justice, decency and fairness gave him an unparalleled eloquence that stirred America deeply. His leadership, authenticity and powerful advocacy reflected the strength of his character and his unshakeable commitment to the most vulnerable and to those who most needed policies and principles that reflect the best of America."
New York Sen. Kirsten Gillbrand:
I learned from Gov. Cuomo's example & will always be grateful for his wisdom & generosity. His legacy continues to serve as a guide for me.— Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand) January 2, 2015
New York Sen. Chuck Schumer:
Today the New York family lost one of its greatest sons. Prayers to all who knew and loved Mario. -cs— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) January 2, 2015
Sen. Schumer released a longer statement: "From the hard streets of Queens, Mario Cuomo rose to the very pinnacle of political power in New York because he believed in his bones in the greatness of this state, the greatness of America and the unique potential of every individual. From soaring oratory that stirred the very soul to painstaking coalition building to advance policies and accomplishments, he was a colossal political mind and represented the very best of public service; he leaves an indelible legacy on the state he loved."
Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg:
I was lucky to call Mario Cuomo a friend. My heart goes out to the entire Cuomo family during this difficult time http://t.co/5Tqr4oxd0C— Mike Bloomberg (@MikeBloomberg) January 2, 2015
Bloomberg also said this in a statement: "Mario Cuomo inspired millions of people around the country with his vision for a more compassionate and just society, and during difficult times for our city and state, he brought principled and ethical leadership to Albany. He never swayed with the political winds - whether on the death penalty or any other issue - and he earned a spot alongside Theodore Roosevelt, Charles Evans Hughes, Al Smith, and Franklin Roosevelt in the pantheon of New York's great progressive governors."
Current New York Mayor Bill de Blasio:
Tonight, New York has lost a giant. Mario Cuomo was a man of unwavering principle who possessed a compassion for humankind without equal.— Bill de Blasio (@BilldeBlasio) January 2, 2015
New York Gov. Chris Christie:
Mary Pat and I send our deepest condolences to Matilda, Governor Andrew Cuomo and the entire Cuomo family.— Governor Christie (@GovChristie) January 2, 2015
Christie continued: "Our country and our region lost a giant today with the passing of Governor Mario Cuomo. 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. Finally, he was a great husband, father and grandfather."
Former New York Gov. David Paterson:
We have lost a true progressive giant with Governor Mario Cuomo's passing today.— Gov. David Paterson (@NYGovPaterson55) January 2, 2015
Paterson, who served as governor before current Gov. Andrew Cuomo, sent another tweet reading, "Gov. Cuomo's dedication to public service and his lifelong commitment to New York and all its residents will define his legacy."
The Rev. Al Sharpton also released a statement: “The passing of Governor Mario Cuomo is a true loss to the nation, the state and lovers of civil rights and liberties. He was the last liberal giant of New York politics and was a true statesman/politician."
Stephanie Cutter, a former aide of Cuomo's, shared this memories of him in 1991, when he decided against running for president and he famously left a chartered plane on a tarmac in Albany, N.Y., that was supposed to take him to New Hampshire so he could file for the Democratic nomination.
Was so heartbroken when Mario Cuomo didn't get on that plane to NH in Dec 1991. Didn't think I could ever help elect/work for anyone else...— Stephanie Cutter (@stefcutter) January 2, 2015
A photo from 1983 shows Cuomo being sworn into office.
The New York Daily News released an early version of their front page paying tribute to Cuomo as "Super Mario."