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Who was Chris and Andrew Cuomo's father? Mario Cuomo dubbed dad with two 'idiot' sons

Former NY Governor Mario Cuomo, often dubbed a 'liberal beacon' has his legacy tarnished after the Internet compared him to his controversial sons
Mario Cuomo (Nathaniel Brooks-Pool/Getty Images) with inserts of (L) Andrew Cuomo (David Dee Delgado/Getty Images) and (R) Chris Cuomo (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Mario Cuomo (Nathaniel Brooks-Pool/Getty Images) with inserts of (L) Andrew Cuomo (David Dee Delgado/Getty Images) and (R) Chris Cuomo (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Before he was forced to resign, Andrew Cuomo wasn't just New York's Governor, he was also the heir to an iconic legacy left by his father - Mario Matthew Cuomo. The late Cuomo senior left behind a legacy few politicians have been able to match when he died in 2015, something that remained untarnished till very recently.

The booting of Chris Cuomo from CNN, along with Andrew's scandals being laid bare has now led many on social media to call for the Cuomo name to be wiped from New York, also pulling down the curtain's on Mario's legacy. The Cuomo family is currently being widely slammed both on social media and in the real world after it emerged Chris used his role at CNN to dig up dirt on Andrew's accusers. He's also found himself embroiled in a sexual misconduct scandal after an ex-ABC colleague accused him of alleged misconduct. That comes just months after Andrew was forced out of office over his scandal, with several victims coming forward.


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But it's not just Andrew and Chris having to deal with the fallout from their respective scandals, it's also left a stain on the Cuomo legacy. Most importantly, it also pulls down the legacy of Mario, which POLITICO described as "Lincolnesque". For those of you who may not know who Mario is, here's a brief look at one of New York's most famous governors.

Mario Cuomo attends a party at the Frederick P. Rose Hall on August 30, 2004, in New York City. (Bowers/Getty Images)

Who was Mario Cuomo?

A lawyer by training, Mario also played baseball before turning to politics. He represented the Brunswick Pirates in one season in the Minor Leagues, before being struck in the head and having to call time on a promising career. "He was a good hitter, but he was a really good center fielder, nobody ever hit one over him," recalled teammate Merlin Jorgensen. After the injury, Mario went to St. John's University for his bachelor's degree and decided to pursue a legal career.

In 1956, Mario graduated from St John's University School of Law and worked for a small Brooklyn firm that represented Fred Trump. In 1974, he stepped down to pursue a career in public service,  running for Lieutenant Governor of New York. While he lost in the Democratic primary, Governor-elect Hugh Carey opted to bring Mario into his administration, handing him the duties of Secretary of State.

Two years later, at Carey's urging, he ran for Mayor of New York City, leading to a highly controversial primary campaign against US Representative Ed Koch. Mario failed to win again, but as luck would have it managed to win the 1978 primary for Lieutenant Governor. That set the stage for his own Gubernatorial run in 1982 after Cary decided to decline reelection. He went on to serve four terms, before eventually losing the 1994 elections to Republican George Pataki.

Andrew Cuomo with his father Mario (L) following his announcement that he is officially running for the Governor of New York outside the Tweed Courthouse on May 22, 2010, in New York City. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

His popularly saw Mario often be touted for Federal office, including making the shortlist for Walter Mondale's list of VP candidates in 1984, and even considered a frontrunner for the Democratic nomination for President in 1988 and 1992. But he never opted to step on the national stage and after his defeat in 1994, returned to legal work. His tenure in office can be best summed by POLITICO's story on the family- "His supporters worshipped him, his opponents feared him." 

'Mario Cuomo must be spinning in his grave'

With a rich legacy of change and iconic accomplishments, Mario is widely respected as one of New York's finest Governors. But Chris and Andrew's scandal saw internet users tweet things like, "Mario Cuomo must be spinning in his grave tonight. Two embarrassing, idiot sons" and "I wonder what Mario Cuomo would think of his sons if he were still alive. I think "extremely disappointed" would be a gross understatement." One comedian tweeted, "Last time we were in NY we had to drive under the Gov. Mario Cuomo Bridge and as we passed beneath it, an LED sign lit up that said "I can see down your top"."




"Who would ever have suspected that the sons of Mario Cuomo would turn out to be lacking in integrity?" one user asked. Another commented, "It's a good thing Mario Cuomo is dead. If he was alive the descent of his sons would kill him." Another mocked, "Oh what a scummy legacy Mario Cuomo left the world in his sons."




Mario died on January 1, 2015, just hours after Andrew was sworn in as governor for the second time. Ironically, in many ways like his father, Andrew too never sought national office, despite being widely touted as an ideal candidate. Both Mario and Andrew were firmly fixed on serving their state, but while one left office with his head held high, and a historic legacy, the other had to be whisked away mired in controversy. Things don't look any better for Chris either, so it certainly seems like they've killed the Cuomo legacy, or at least social media believes so.