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Statement from the Columbus Citizens Foundation On the Passing of Mario M. Cuomo

The Columbus Citizens Foundation is deeply saddened by the passing of former Governor Mario M. Cuomo. The Governor was an extraordinary Italian American and a powerful voice for the community he served as well as the American people. He was not only a major force in the political arena but a true representative of integrity, respectability and exemplified sheer brilliance, compassion and an ability to communicate with all people.

The Governor was an accomplished son of Italian immigrants, raised from humble beginnings in a family-owned store in South Jamaica, Queens, who rose to prominence through education and his convictions. He would pursue his studies in law; achieving the better life every family wishes for their child, to eventually become a champion of his community and a politician for the people.

“Governor Cuomo represented the essence of what we should all strive to be,” said Angelo Vivolo, President of the Columbus Citizens Foundation. “The world and our community have lost a great leader but one who will always be remembered for his integrity, unwavering optimism and the great principles for which he stood.”

“I recall fondly the Governor’s strong support of the efforts of his wife, his daughter Margaret and myself as we lobbied the Prime Minister of Italy in Rome to support the teaching of Italian in the United States and around the world at the highest level,” said Louis Tallarini, former President of the Columbus Citizens Foundation and current Chairman of the Italian Language Foundation.

Governor Cuomo was also a strong proponent for the Italian-American community, publicly challenging the negative Italian-American stereotypes pervasive in public politics and the media. He fought for what he believed in and stood by his convictions. He was truly an inspiration to all people, which is why the Columbus Citizens Foundation is so proud to have honored him as Grand Marshal of the New York City Columbus Day Parade in 1986.

He will be greatly missed but his legacy will live on. Our prayers and condolences go out to the Cuomo family, especially to Mario’s wife, Matilda, and their children Andrew, Maria, Margaret, Madeline, and Christopher and his fourteen grandchildren.

Columbus Citizens Foundation
8 East 69th Street
New York, NY 10021
Phone: 212-249-9923
Fax: 212-727-4413