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Former New York Governor Mario Cuomo is dead at the age of 82.  The governor's office released a statement saying Cuomo passed away at home due to natural causes Thursday evening with his loving family at his side.  He'd been in poor health and was hospitalized for a heart condition over Thanksgiving.  Cuomo's death came just six hours after his oldest son and current governor Andrew Cuomo was inaugurated to a second term in Manhattan. 

The elder Cuomo was born in Queens in 1932 to Italian immigrant parents who owned a grocery store.  He gained national attention when he delivered the keynote speech at the 1984 Democratic convention, an address that has been ranked as one of the greatest political speeches of the 20th century.  He served as the 52nd governor of New York for three terms from 1983 to 1994. 

Mario Cuomo was credited with simultaneously improving the business environment of New York and the quality of life for its citizens, despite a national recession at the time.  He presented eleven consecutive balanced budgets, reduced taxes and implemented comprehensive governmental ethics and fiscal reforms.  Prior to his election as governor in 1983, Governor Cuomo served in the public and private practice of law for 18 years, simultaneously teaching as an adjunct professor for more than ten years at The St. John's School of Law.


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