New York Condemnation Lawyer Passes Away — R.I.P. Mario Cuomo

Today’s dispatches bring the news that New York’s former governor, Mario Cuomo,  has passed away at 82. To the press and possibly to you ol’ Mario may have been a big time politician whose name, at one time, was bruited about as a presidential prospect. But to us, he was a customer who read our publication.

We never actually met the man but we knew of him as a condemnation lawyer in Queens. How? He was a subscriber to our monthly publication “Just Compensation” that began publishing in 1957 and continued in print for over a half-century.

Mr. Cuomo practiced law in Queens and, if the New York Times is to be believed, did right well by his clients. He defeated the taking of a 67-acre junkyard, thereby frustrating the desired of Robert Moses — quite a feat in itself — and succeeded in reducing the take of a 67-home tract of land for a school, down to 55 homes. Not bad.

Eventually, he went into public life and cancelled his subscription to “Just Compensation.” The rest as they say, is history.

If you want to read the whole story in his obituary, check it out in Adam Nagourney, Governor, Governor’s Father And an Eloquent Liberal Beacon, N.Y. Times, Jan. 2, 2015, at p. A1.

Follow up.  For another insight into Cuomo’s fight for the Queens property owners, see Sam Roberts, An Outsider’s Borough Shaped a Politician Who Helped Shape It, N.Y. Times, Jan. 3, 2015, at p. A13. See http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/03/nyregion/mario-cuomo-rose-from-queens-the-outsiders-borough-.html?ref=nyregion

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