Cuomo died of heart failure in his Manhattan home only hours after his son Andrew Cuomo was sworn in for his second term as New York governor.
"He couldn't be here physically today ... but my father is in this room," Andrew Cuomo said in his first inaugural speech, delivered in Manhattan, on Thursday. "He's in the heart and mind of every person who is here. His inspiration and his legacy and his spirit is what has brought this day to this point."
Cuomo was New York's governor from 1983-1994, making him the longest-serving Democratic governor in state history. But it was his 1984 keynote speech at the Democratic National Convention, where he took then-President Reagan to task for painting America as a "shining city on a hill," that turned Cuomo into a nationally recognized figure.
Cuomo flirted with the idea of running for president in 1988 and 1992, but opted out of the race both times. Shortly after, he also removed himself from the short list for Supreme Court Justice, resulting in the nomination of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Cuomo is survived by his wife Matilda and his five children Andrew, Margaret, Maria, Madeline and Chris.