Statement from NOIAW on the passing of Mario M. Cuomo

Jan 05, 2015 806

by NOIAW: Aileen R. Sirey - Founder & Chair Emerita, and Patricia A. Martone - Chair, National Board

Yesterday, the Italian American community lost one of its greatest heroes.

The National Organization of Italian American Women was extremely saddened to learn of the passing of Mario M. Cuomo, former governor of New York, spellbinding orator, inspiring politician, and a great friend to our organization. He was a compelling public figure and an unrelenting champion of activist ideals whose experience as the child of Italian immigrants deeply informed his progressive politics.

Mr. Cuomo was the first public official to formally greet NOIAW when we launched on July 14, 1980. He has attended many of our luncheons and dinners. Mario's beloved wife of 60 years, Matilda Raffa Cuomo, is a founding member of NOIAW.

After meeting with representatives from NOIAW shortly after our founding meeting, when he was Lieutenant Governor, Mr. Cuomo said, "Our treasure, Italian American women, are not fully appreciated. I predict that the Italian American movement over the next 20 years will be far stronger because of the strength and concern of the female population. As the father of three Italian American women and the husband of one of their finest representatives, I know whereof I speak."

The officers and directors of the Board of the National Organization of Italian American Women extend our sincerest condolences to Matilda, as well as to their children, New York Governor Andrew, Margaret, Madeline, Maria, and Christopher, and to their fourteen grandchildren.

Aileen R. Sirey - Founder & Chair Emerita

Patricia A. Martone - Chair, National Board

Source: NOIAW

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