ABOUT ANDREW CUOMO
“Andrew Cuomo is a passionate believer in doing what's right and he is a determined leader who gets it done. His test is never soft sentiments, but hard results.”
- President Bill Clinton
Throughout his life, Andrew Cuomo has been a forceful voice for change in New York. His lifelong commitment to hard work, public service, and the people he serves has led to Andrew's recognition as a true innovator and a principled and determined leader.
His leadership as Attorney General has led to numerous industry-wide investigations -- exposing corrupt practices within both Albany and the private sector. He has been tenacious and unwavering in bringing widespread reform to industries that have abused the public trust and in bringing to justice individuals who have violated the law. And in doing so, he has recovered billions of dollars for New York’s citizens.
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As the Attorney General of New York, Andrew has initiated a dramatic and historic expansion of the Civil Rights Bureau, won landmark decisions forcing the E.P.A. to enforce pollution laws, and achieved new standards in government transparency and accountability.
Andrew's strong values and demonstrated ability to achieve results stem from a grand tradition of service – a tradition that began in Queens, New York.
Born on December 6, 1957, Andrew M. Cuomo was the second child of Mario Cuomo & Matilda Raffa Cuomo. His paternal grandparents, Andrea and Immaculato Cuomo, emigrated from Salerno, Italy to South Jamaica, Queens, in the 1920s, where Andrea ran a small grocery store.
They brought with them a history of hard work and single-minded determination. Andrew's success is rooted in that history and it is that history which continues to drive him today.
Andrew attended Fordham University in the Bronx and received his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1979. He received his law degree from Albany Law School in 1982. Working his way through both college and law school, Andrew took jobs as a security guard, landscaper, and an auto repair mechanic.
After law school, Andrew headed the Transition Committee for Governor-Elect Mario M. Cuomo and then served as an advisor to the Governor taking a salary of $1 a year, before joining the Manhattan District Attorney’s office.
The growth of the nation’s homeless population in the 1980s sparked Andrew’s passion to fight for human rights and social justice — especially for our most vulnerable citizens.
Recognizing the need for ambitious action, he established Housing Enterprise for the Less Privileged (HELP) in 1986, which has since become one of the country’s largest builders and operators of service-enriched transitional and low income permanent housing.
By providing more than just shelter, HELP challenged the traditional orthodoxy on dealing with homelessness, and advocated for the true needs of the population – job training, education, treatment for drug and alcohol abuse, mental health services, and emergency and transitional housing.
HELP has revolutionized traditional thinking on this issue and earned recognition by Congress as an example of real progress on the challenge of homelessness. Since then, HELP has become a national model, copied throughout the country.
In 1992, Andrew was invited to work on President-elect Bill Clinton’s Transition Committee and then asked to serve as Assistant Secretary of Community Planning and Development at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), where he quickly established a reputation as an innovative reformer.
After the 1996 election, President Clinton picked Andrew to serve as HUD Secretary. At the time, HUD was viewed as a poster child for waste and mismanagement. It was the only federal agency designated "high risk" by the Government Accounting Office and several members of Congress were calling for HUD's elimination.
As HUD Secretary, Andrew Cuomo launched a top to bottom reinvention of the troubled agency, overhauling HUD's management, governing philosophies, and programs. By the time Andrew left HUD, the Department had been removed from the GAO “high risk” list, his management reform effort won prestigious prizes for innovation and he received bipartisan praise for turning around one of the most poorly managed federal agencies.
The turnaround was clearest at the Federal Housing Administration, a backbone of providing mortgages to first time home buyers. During the early 1990s, FHA was almost $3 billion in the red — and without radical restructuring, a costly federal bailout seemed inevitable. But Andrew's management reforms helped revitalize the FHA. By 2000, instead of running a deficit, FHA was $16 billion in the black and poised to return almost $20 billion dollars a year to taxpayers.
Andrew Cuomo is the proud father of three daughters, Mariah, Cara, and Michaela. When not working for the people of New York State, he is a regular cheerleader at their soccer games and track meets, and enjoys fishing and tinkering with his old sports car. He’s also earned a reputation as a pretty tough competitor on the basketball court — although his 3-point shot could use some work.