- The Cuomo family has risen to prominence amid the coronavirus outbreak.
- New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, has been in the national spotlight for leading New York State through the pandemic. Recent Business Insider polling found that he was one of the most trusted figures in the US amid the crisis.
- Meanwhile, his younger brother, CNN anchor Chris Cuomo, was diagnosed with the virus in March. He revealed on April 20 that he’s now out of quarantine.
- New York is one of the states most heavily affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.
- The governor has responded to the crisis by demanding more ventilators for hospitals, advocating more widespread coronavirus testing, and imposing a statewide stay-at-home order.
- Their father is the late Mario Cuomo, a former governor of New York.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
The Cuomo family is one of the most notable dynasties in New York politics. Mario Cuomo was the governor of New York for over a decade, serving three terms. His eldest son, Andrew, is the current governor of New York, while Mario’s youngest son, Chris, is a primetime news anchor on CNN.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo, has been in the national spotlight in recent months for leading New York through the coronavirus pandemic, as the state has become the epicentre of the virus in America.
Representatives for Andrew and Chris Cuomo didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment from Business Insider about the brothers’ personal lives, careers, real estate, earnings, and respective controversies.
Keep reading to find out more about the Cuomo family and some of its most prominent members.
The Cuomo family is one of the most powerful and influential New York political dynasties.
The most widely-known members of the family are Mario Cuomo, the former three-term governor; Andrew Cuomo, the current governor; and Chris Cuomo, a CNN primetime news anchor.
On March 31, CNN reported that Chris tested positive for the coronavirus.
Previously, he had been hosting his prime time show from the basement of his home. Chris confirmed that he’ll continue to do so while “quarantined in [his] basement.”
“In these difficult times that seem to get more difficult and complicated by the day, I just found out that I am positive for coronavirus,” Chris wrote on Twitter. “We will all beat this by being smart and tough and united!”
— Christopher C. Cuomo (@ChrisCuomo) March 31, 2020
On April 14, Chris revealed that his wife, magazine editor Cristina Greeven, had also started to show symptoms, and the next day, CNN reported that she had tested positive for the virus.
On April 21, Chris revealed he is no longer in quarantine.
His older brother, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, has been in the national spotlight in recent weeks as people praise his leadership of New York State through the coronavirus pandemic.
New York is the hardest-hit state in the US.
On March 20, the governor signed an executive order mandating that all nonessential businesses keep their employees home starting on March 22, Business Insider’s Bryan Pietsch reported. The order also encouraged New Yorkers to avoid gathering in groups and using public transportation unless absolutely necessary.
He also enacted “Matilda’s Law,” named for his mother, which seeks to protect vulnerable people, including those over the age of 70, during the pandemic.
A March Business Insider poll found that Cuomo and Dr. Anthony Fauci, a White House expert on infectious diseases, were Americans’ most trusted leaders on the coronavirus outbreak; both ranked far above President Donald Trump.
Their father, Mario Cuomo, was born in the South Jamaica neighbourhood of Queens on June 15, 1932.
Mario Cuomo’s parents, immigrants from southern Italy, owned a grocery store in South Jamaica.
Cuomo attended St. John’s University as an undergraduate and for law school, graduating with his JD in 1956. He worked for various small firms before joining Corner, Weisbrod, Froeb & Charles, though he left in 1974 to run for lieutenant governor.
However, the gubernatorial ticket he ran on lost. Instead, Governor-elect Hugh Carey brought him on as secretary of state, a position Cuomo held from 1975 to 1978. After that, he served as the lieutenant governor from 1979 to 1982.
Before becoming lieutenant governor, Mario Cuomo unsuccessfully ran for New York City mayor.
The race between Mario Cuomo and US Rep. Ed Koch was famously heated.
Mario Cuomo was the governor of New York from 1983 to 1994.
As governor, Cuomo was known for his bold public presence and often found himself at odds with the state Legislature over issues such as taxes and program cuts. He was a noted liberal and a “tenacious debater.”
As John Cassidy of The New Yorker wrote, Cuomo became known for his speech at the 1984 Democratic Convention in San Francisco, where he famously told President Ronald Reagan that he “ought to know that this nation is more ‘A Tale of Two Cities’ than it is just ‘a shining city on a hill.”
Cuomo described his political philosophy as “progressive pragmatism” and spoke up for many marginalised communities, Cassidy wrote. He did increase the state’s spending on public education and healthcare, but he also built more prisons than any other state elected official before him.
In 1991, Mario Cuomo almost ran for president.
In his profile of Andrew Cuomo, The Atlantic’s Edward-Isaac Dovere recounted how Mario Cuomo almost flew to New Hampshire to file his presidential bid for the 1992 election but backed out at the last minute because “state Senate Republicans were fighting him over the budget.”
“It seems to me I cannot turn my attention to New Hampshire while this threat hangs over the head of the New Yorkers that I’ve sworn to put first,” he said at a news conference afterward.
Mario Cuomo was also nearly President Bill Clinton’s first appointment to the Supreme Court in 1993.
After “two weeks of back-and-forth” between Clinton’s aide George Stephanopoulos and Andrew Cuomo, Mario Cuomo decided he wouldn’t accept the appointment, Hertzberg wrote. But he wavered on that decision when Clinton finally decided on his second choice, and Andrew Cuomo told Stephanopoulos that his father would accept the Supreme Court appointment if it were offered again.
Ultimately, that June, Mario Cuomo decided he couldn’t accept after all and told Stephanopoulos not to have the president call him.
Mario Cuomo married Matilda Raffa in 1954, when he was still a law student.
The two met in 1951, when she was attending the teachers’ college at St. John’s while he was in law school there.
They had five kids together – Andrew, Maria, Margaret, Madeline, and Chris – all of whom were born and raised in Queens.
Mario Cuomo died of heart failure in 2015.
Both of Matilda’s parents were Italian immigrants, hailing from Sicily.
Mattia, known as Matilda, was born in 1931. The Chicago Tribune’s Paula Cohen wrote that her name was changed to Matilda because her teachers used to call her that rather than Mattia.
A noted advocate for women and children, Matilda Cuomo founded Mentoring USA, a program that assigns mentors to students to help curb the dropout rate. In 2017, she was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame for her lifetime of advocacy.
In March 2020, her son Andrew Cuomo announced a law named after his mother, “Matilda’s law,” designed to protect New Yorkers over the age of 70 and those with compromised immune systems and underlying diseases during the coronavirus pandemic.
Andrew Cuomo, the oldest Cuomo sibling, is the governor of New York.
Before becoming governor, Cuomo was the secretary of housing and urban development in the Clinton administration, from 1997 to 2001.
In 2006, he became the New York attorney general. He was sworn in as governor of New York in 2011 and reelected in 2015.
It was the first time in the state’s history that a father and son had both been elected governor, according to The New York Times.
As governor, he helped to legalise same-sex marriage in New York, helped form the United States Climate Alliance, passed strict gun-control laws, increased the minimum wage, and legalised medical marijuana.
As Business Insider previously reported, Cuomo makes at least $US200,000 a year as the governor of New York.
In a March 2019 profile by The Atlantic’s Dovere, Cuomo was described as “irritating, confounding, and egotistical” but also “engaging, intense, and charismatic.”
Dovere wrote that even though “most politicians in New York and beyond can’t stand him,” Cuomo wins elections “in landslides.”
Andrew Cuomo’s tenure has not been without controversy.
In 2014, his administration faced criticism when it was accused of interfering with an ethics commission, Vox’s Andrew Prokop reported. And in 2018, Joseph Percoco, a close family friend and Cuomo’s aide, was convicted of corruption.
In October, Cuomo again faced controversy when he used a racial slur on the radio as he quoted a New York Times op-ed article about slurs against Italian Americans.
He was once married to Kerry Kennedy, the daughter of Robert F. Kennedy.
Cuomo and Kerry Kennedy got married in 1990 after dating for 18 months, according to People magazine.
Their first date, according to a 2003 Times article, was a tour of a homeless shelter. Kennedy said this is where she first fell in love with him.
They had three kids together before divorcing in 2005.
Andrew Cuomo later dated the Food Network host Sandra Lee. They split in 2019.
According to a 2012 interview with The Times, when Lee first met Andrew Cuomo, she described him as a “huge, musclebound man.”
In the interview, Lee also addressed why they’d never married, even though Cuomo was rumoured to be making a presidential run and, as the interviewer said, “people without spouses don’t get elected president anymore.”
“Andrew is focused on being governor. He’s not running for president,” Lee told Andrew Goldman. “We’re happy in the relationship the way it is. Still, I can tell you that Andrew’s kids want us to get married. It’s very sweet.”
She also pushed back on the notion that Cuomo was “hot-tempered,” saying he was “patient and mellow” with her.
“We never fight,” she said, adding, “He doesn’t give me grief.”
Andrew Cuomo also likes to vacation. He’s particularly fond of Saranac Lake in New York.
In a 2011 article, The Times described Saranac Lake as a lesser-known tourist attraction where visitors can fish, shop, and eat near Lake Placid.
The village is also near Whiteface Mountain, where Cuomo took his daughter skiing. Lee also said Saranac Lake was one of her favourite vacation spots.
“I’ve been all across the country; the Adirondacks are a national treasure,” Cuomo said. “It renews me. It just gets you in touch with nature and it’s just one of the really special places on the planet – period.”
Though he barely leaves New York, he took a vacation to the Caribbean in 2015.
Cuomo and his family were vacationing in the Caribbean while Mayor Bill de Blasio was in Puerto Rico with his family, though it wasn’t disclosed where exactly the Cuomos travelled to, the Observer’s Ross Barkan reported.
Barkan said that Cuomo, like his father, would rarely leave the state. However, after his reelection, Cuomo said he would travel out of the state more.
City and State New York reported in May that throughout his years in office, Cuomo had been out of the state for only 33 days, most of which were visits to Washington, DC, and occasional “short overseas trips.”
Andrew Cuomo has also become known for his clashes with President Donald Trump.
Cuomo has called Trump a “coward” and “un-American.”
In his 2019 interview with The Atlantic’s Dovere, the governor said Trump was “personally and emotionally motivated” and “without long-term strategy and tactics,” adding, “He’s scared.”
“He’s lost a lot [of supporters] who have lost faith in him,” he told Dovere. “Once you lose faith in the person, the message loses credibility.”
Cuomo added: “He was a businessman, outsider, successful, articulate. And a fresh face. He had all that going for him. Now he is mercurial. Obnoxious. Alienating.”
Trump tweeted in March 2019 that New York and Cuomo were “now proud members of the group of PRESIDENTIAL HARASSERS.”
“It is very hard and expensive to live in New York. Governor Andrew Cuomo uses his Attorney General as a bludgeoning tool for his own purposes,” Trump tweeted in July, adding, “I even got sued on a Foundation which took zero rent & expenses & gave away more money than it had.”
In his March 2019 profile of Andrew Cuomo for The Atlantic, Dovere said the differences between Cuomo and his father were “huge.”
“Mario would blow up in a rage, while Andrew tends to bide his time for revenge; Mario was more of a book guy, while Andrew is more of a car guy,” Dovere wrote. “Andrew ran his father’s campaigns as his political bruiser; Mario wrote policy memos for his son’s campaigns and taped cards from supporters to them with long notes explaining why he should call them.”
Despite their personality differences, the two were close. Andrew Cuomo referred to his father in his second inaugural address, given the night his father died.
“He was my best friend. He was my best ally,” Cuomo told Dovere. “My best colleague. Brilliant. Principled.”
Mario and Matilda Cuomo’s oldest daughter, Maria Cuomo, is married to the fashion designer Kenneth Cole.
She is the chairwoman of Help USA, a charitable foundation.
Cole’s eponymous company used to be public, but he took it private again in 2012, when it had a valuation of $US280 million,Inc. reported.
The second-oldest daughter is Margaret Cuomo, a radiologist.
In 2011, she and her mother were awarded the Order of the Star of Italian Solidarity, an award Italy gives to expats who have made a meaningful contribution to Italy since World War II. The award was presented to her by Giorgio Napolitano, the president of Italy at the time.
The youngest daughter is Madeline Cuomo. She lives a very private life.
She attended the State University at Albany and earned her JD from Albany Law School.
The youngest son, Chris Cuomo, is a primetime news anchor for CNN.
Before CNN, Cuomo worked at ABC; from 2006 to 2009, he was an anchor for “Good Morning America.” He also served as ABC News’ chief law and justice correspondent and was a “20/20” c0-anchor. Before ABC, he was a correspondent for Fox News.
He attended Yale University and Fordham Law.
In August, Chris made headlines when a video surfaced of him yelling at a Trump supporter who called him “Fredo.”
In “The Godfather,” Fredo is the older brother of Michael Corleone who is unable to live up to his little brother’s charm and glory.
In the video, Cuomo yelled that “Fredo” was “an Italian aspersion” and “like the N-word to us.” He said he would throw the man down the stairs “like a f—ing punk.”
Donald Trump Jr. tweeted: “Take it from me, ‘Fredo’ isn’t the N word for Italians, it just means you’re the dumb brother.”
The president also responded to the video: “I thought Chris was Fredo also. The truth hurts.”
CNN stood with Cuomo during the controversy. CNN’s president of communications tweeted: “Chris Cuomo defended himself when he was verbally attacked with the use of an ethnic slur in an orchestrated setup. We completely support him.”
Chris also more recently made headlines in April, when he reportedly said on his radio show that he doesn’t like what he does professionally. “I don’t think it’s worth my time,” he said, according to the New York Post.
As he recovered from the coronavirus, Chris went on his SiriusXM show, where he said that his fight with the virus gave him time to rethink his values in life.
“I don’t like what I do professionally… I don’t think it’s worth my time,” he said, in other quotes reported by the Daily Beast. “That matters to me more than making millions of dollars a year … because I’ve saved my money and I don’t need it anymore.”
He quickly had a change of heart, however, with the New York Post reporting that he said the following day that his comments had nothing to do with his employment at CNN and were about “frustrations in [the] business” of media.
A CNN rep backed Chris up, telling the Post that Chris’ original comments were about “changing how to do the job” and not dissatisfaction with the job or network itself.
“Chris is not talking about CNN and changing his job as an anchor,” the rep said. “He’s talking about changing how to do the job. He’s referring to the politics and media culture, not CNN.”
New York Post
Since 2001, Chris Cuomo has been married to the magazine editor Cristina Greeven.
The two were married in Southampton and live in Manhattan with their three children.
The family’s five-bedroom, four-bathroom home in Southampton was put on the market last year with an asking price of $US2.9 million.
They have reportedly lived in a $US2.9 million apartment on Park Avenue since 2011.
During his bout of COVID-19, Chris was quarantined in the basement of his Southampton home and continued to film his show from there.
New York Post
In early March, Andrew Cuomo went on Chris Cuomo’s CNN show to talk about the coronavirus pandemic.
A clip showed the brothers talking about the pandemic and the measures the governor was taking to lead the state through it – as well as getting into a tiff about who their mother’s favourite child is.
“I called Mum just before I came on this show, by the way, she said I was her favourite,” Andrew Cuomo said. “Good news is she said you were her second favourite.”
“No,” Chris Cuomo responded. “We both know neither of us are Mum’s first or second favourite.”
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