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Almost exactly one year ago, Governor Andrew Cuomo was a national hero. His daily, straight-to-the-point coronavirus briefings were a much-needed salve for millions of Americans who had suddenly been thrust into a deadly pandemic. He was celebrated for his tough love approach, and for providing leadership for a country severely lacking in it.
Well, a lot has changed in a year. Now, the New York governor is dealing with accusations of sexual harassment by three former aides, in addition to contending with the fallout from allegations that his administration had withheld data on coronavirus-related nursing home deaths to cover up the real death toll.
Earlier today Governor Cuomo spoke publicly for the first time since the sexual harassment scandal broke. “I now understand that I acted in a way that made people feel uncomfortable,” he said. “It was unintentional and I truly and deeply apologize for it. I feel awful about it and frankly embarrassed by it and that’s not easy to say but that’s the truth.”
The governor’s office has also given Letitia James, the state attorney general, the authority to conduct an investigation. Despite calls from various Democrats for his resignation, Cuomo said he would not.
In light of all that is going on, here is what to know about the extended Cuomo family.
Mario Cuomo, father
Andrew's father, who died of heart failure in 2015 at the age of 82, was born in Queens to Italian immigrant parents and attended law school there at St. John's University. He was the 52nd Governor of New York and served three terms from 1983 to 1994. Widely considered a front-runner for the Democratic presidential nominations in 1988 and 1992, Cuomo declined to enter the race both times. When Bill Clinton became president, he considered appointing Cuomo to the Supreme Court but the latter declined that as well. When he lost the election for a fourth term as governor to George Pataki, Cuomo joined the law firm Wilkie Farr & Gallagher.
While several people (including his brother Chris) have asked Andrew if he has presidential aspirations following his experiences with the COVID-19 crisis, he is reportedly most focused on a fourth gubernatorial term, which would begin in 2022. It's a milestone his father never achieved—he lost to George Pataki in 1994.
Matilda Raffa Cuomo, mother
Andrew's mother, Matilda Raffa, married his father in 1954. She was a staunch advocate for women, children, and families as First Lady of New York, and in 2017 she was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame. Last year, Governor Andrew Cuomo enacted "Matilda's Law," a protective order for all New York state citizens over the age of 70, who are particularly vulnerable to the coronavirus.
Chris Cuomo, brother
Mario and Matilda's youngest child is a CNN anchor and host of Cuomo Prime Time. Chris and Andrew, with their 13-year age gap, reportedly had an almost father-son-like relationship growing, especially while their father was busy with his gubernatorial duties.
He endured a month-long battle with the coronavirus last April, during which he taped his show from the basement of his home and gave frequent updates on his condition.
In 2001 Cuomo married Cristina Greeven in Southampton. She is the former editor in chief of Manhattan and Beach magazines and founded her own wellness magazine called Purist in 2017. They have three children: Bella, Mario, and Carolina.
Margaret Cuomo, sister
Mario and Matilda's first-born, Margaret (she is two years older than Andrew), is a radiologist and advocate for cancer prevention. She has one daughter, Christina Cuomo Perpignano, with first husband Peter Perpignano, and another, Marianna Cuomo Maier with second and current husband Howard Maier.
Maria Cuomo Cole, sister
The third-born Cuomo sibling funds social-impact documentaries through her production company Cuomo Cole Films. She was the executive producer of 2012's The Invisible War, a documentary about sexual assault in the US military that won a Peabody, an Emmy, and was nominated for an Oscar. The film inspired then-Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta to order all sexual assault cases be handled by officers ranking colonel or higher. Cuomo Cole was also the producer of Newtown, another Peabody Award-winning documentary, about the 2012 elementary school shooting. It premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2016.
She married fashion designer Kenneth Cole in 1987 and the couple have three daughters: Emily, Amanda, and Catie.
Madeline Cuomo, sister
Madeline is the most private Cuomo sibling. According to a 1993 New York Times wedding announcement, she married her high school sweetheart, Brian O'Donaghue, who was at the time, a lawyer specializing in matrimonial law.
Kerry Kennedy, ex-wife
The governor of New York was married to Kerry Kennedy, the seventh child of Senator Robert F. Kennedy, for 15 years, from 1990 to 2005 (the tabloids dubbed the union "Cuomolot"). They had three daughters, twins Cara and Mariah, and Michaela. Kennedy is currently the president of Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, a nonprofit advocacy group.
The Kennedy clan suffered a tragic loss last April when Kerry's niece Maeve Kennedy Townsend McKean (she was the daughter of Kerry's sister Kathleen) and her 8-year-old son Gideon went missing in the Chesapeake Bay after they rowed out in their canoe to retrieve a lost ball. Their bodies were four days later and Governor Cuomo addressed the tragedy during his briefing that weekend. “The most difficult level is the human level, it is for me, anyway,” he said. “My daughters’ cousins have a tragedy. They can’t hug each other, they can’t be with each other to grieve together.”
Sandra Lee, former girlfriend
After his divorce from Kerry Kennedy, Governor Cuomo began dating Sandra Lee, the Food Network star of Semi-Homemade Cooking With Sandra Lee, for which she won a Daytime Emmy in 2012. The two met at a party in the Hamptons in the summer of 2005. When Cuomo became governor in 2011, Lee became New York's de facto First Lady. After 14 years together, the couple split in September 2019 though they remain close (Lee is also close to the governor's daughters and his family).
Cara Kennedy-Cuomo, daughter
Twenty-five-year-old Cara is one of Andrew and Kerry's twin daughters (the other is Mariah). She attended Harvard and is an associate at Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, a nonprofit run by her mother. She stayed with her father at the governor's mansion to help with COVID-19 relief efforts.
Mariah Kennedy-Cuomo, daughter
Cara's twin sister, Mariah, attended Brown University where she majored in history and wrote for the college newspaper. She is an associate at Teneo, a global communications and advisory firm. She spearheaded a project as a volunteer at the New York Department of Health to get New Yorkers to wear face masks to protect themselves and others against the coronavirus.
Michaela Kennedy-Cuomo, daughter
Andrew's youngest daughter, Michaela, 22, is a recent graduate of Brown University and now the Chief Marketing Officer of The Woke Mystix, a podcast exploring spirituality and astrology.
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