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Andrew Cuomo: From Progressive Policy Champion to Pandemic Leader

Andrew Cuomo: From

Early Life to New York Governor

Andrew Cuomo, the 56th Governor of New York, is a prominent figure in American politics. From his early life to his rise to the governorship, he has been a public servant with a passion for progressive policy.

This article dives into Cuomo’s background, early career, and journey to the New York governor’s mansion.

Early Life

Born in Queens, New York, in 1957, Andrew Cuomo is the son of Italian American parents. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from Fordham University and his Juris Doctor from Albany Law School.

His father, Mario Cuomo, was a three-term governor of New York. Andrew Cuomo’s early life set the foundation for his successful political career.

Early Career

Cuomo began his career as an Assistant District Attorney in New York City. He then moved on to work at the law firm of Blutrich Falcone & Miller.

Cuomo’s dedication to public service continued when he served as the CEO of the Housing Enterprise for the Less Privileged (HELP). He went on to work for the Homeless Commission and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) during President Bill Clinton’s administration.

Cuomo’s experience in these roles set the stage for his future in politics. The Road to the Governor’s Mansion

Cuomo’s first attempt at the governorship was unsuccessful when he lost to incumbent George Pataki in 2002.

However, Cuomo did not give up. He continued his work as a public servant, eventually becoming the Attorney General of New York in 2007.

Cuomo was re-elected to the position in 2010 and used his platform to enact progressive policy changes.

Financial Disclosures

Cuomo’s financial disclosures were a matter of public debate during his gubernatorial campaigns. In 2014, the New York Times reported that Cuomo’s real estate investments were worth approximately $1.8 million.

Additionally, he received thousands of dollars from Andrew Farkas, a real estate executive. Cuomo’s wealth and connections raised questions about his transparency and commitment to the interests of everyday New Yorkers.

Progressive Policy Changes

Throughout Cuomo’s time in office, he has made several policy changes that promote progressive values. These changes include the legalization of same-sex marriage, gun control measures, increasing the minimum wage, decriminalizing marijuana, and offering free tuition at public colleges and universities.

Cuomo’s dedication to progressive policy earned him a reputation as a champion for social justice. Cuomo’s leadership has been instrumental in New York state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

His daily briefings during the height of the pandemic gained national attention for their clear and informative message. He used his platform to advocate for mask-wearing, social distancing, and other precautionary measures.


Andrew Cuomo’s dedication to public service began in his early life and continued throughout his career. His work as Governor of New York has been instrumental in enacting progressive policy changes and leading the state during the pandemic.

Cuomo’s life and work serve as an example of how passion, dedication and hard work can lead to success in the public arena.

Governor During the Pandemic

As the COVID-19 pandemic swept across the United States, Governor Andrew Cuomo emerged as a leading figure in the fight to contain the virus. Cuomo’s daily briefings provided clear and responsive measures to the crisis.

The policies he put in place would have lasting impacts on the state of New York and the rest of the country. Cuomo’s COVID-19 Response

As the virus spread, Cuomo acted quickly, announcing the state’s first lockdown in March 2020.

In his daily briefings, Cuomo provided critical information and guidance to citizens, addressing everything from testing to mask-wearing to business closures. Cuomo’s response to the pandemic was praised by many for being proactive and making difficult decisions despite intense pressure.

With the healthcare system strained under the surge of cases, he called for federal assistance and instituted measures to bring in additional medical personnel and equipment. Despite receiving criticism for his handling of nursing homes during the pandemic, Cuomo’s actions helped New York flatten the curve and become a model for other states to follow.

Criticisms and Questions about Leadership

As the pandemic experience wore on, some began to question the long-term effects of Cuomo’s strict lockdown measures. Business closures and unemployment rates were major concerns, and many critics argued that the negative effects of the lockdowns were too high for New York.

Cuomo’s staunch supporters, however, pointed out the success in limiting the spread of the virus. One of the biggest criticisms Cuomo received was for his handling of nursing homes in the state during the pandemic.

A March 2020 order issued by the New York Department of Health required nursing homes to readmit COVID-positive patients who had been discharged from hospitals. This order led to a significant number of nursing home cases and deaths in the state.

While Cuomo maintained that the order was in line with federal guidance, some critics suggested that he acted too slowly to address the issue. The controversy surrounding the order has had a lasting effect on Cuomo’s legacy as New York governor.

Personal Life and Finances

Beyond his role as governor, Cuomo’s personal life and finances have attracted public attention throughout his career.

Marriages and Divorce

Cuomo was first married in 1990 to Kerry Kennedy, daughter of Robert F. Kennedy, with whom he has twin daughters.

Cuomo and Kennedy’s marriage ended in a highly publicized divorce in 2005. In that same year, Cuomo began a relationship with Sandra Lee, a Food Network host.

The couple lived together in Westchester County but broke up in 2019.

Relationship with Sandra Lee

Cuomo’s relationship with Sandra Lee made headlines throughout his tenure as governor. Lee was often present at public events and vehemently defended Cuomo during interviews.

Following the couple’s breakup in 2019, Lee confirmed that she would not be running for public office, ending speculation that she might become Cuomo’s running mate. Cuomo’s Personal Expenses

In addition to his personal relationships, Cuomo has also made headlines for his love of cars.

In 2010, he purchased a white 1975 Pontiac GTO, which he kept at his Westchester County home. The car quickly became a symbol of his appreciation for vintage cars, and he even had a custom license plate reading “MY First”.

Cuomo has also used public funds to pay for his personal expenses on several occasions. In 2012, he used state helicopters to transport him to events around the state, including a fundraiser in the Hamptons.

This and other examples of spending have led to criticisms from taxpayers and watchdog groups.


Governor Cuomo’s impact on New York state is undeniable, particularly amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite criticism and controversies surrounding his leadership style, policies, and personal life, Cuomo’s work will be remembered for his effort to keep the citizens of New York safe and his passionate pursuit of progressive policies.

Governor Andrew Cuomo’s life and political career have been eventful, from his early days as a lawyer and public servant to his rise to becoming the governor of New York. Cuomo’s actions in response to COVID-19 were widely praised, but were not without controversy, as some criticized his approach towards nursing homes.

Additionally, his personal life and expenses have been subjects of public scrutiny. While not without criticism, Cuomo’s leadership has made an impact in public service and progressive policy.

His story serves as a reminder of the importance of leadership and the challenges that come with serving the public.

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