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Hugh Carey

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Title: Hugh Carey  
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Subject: Mario Cuomo, New York gubernatorial election, 1974, George DeLuca, Robert Duffy (politician), George R. Lunn
Collection: 1919 Births, 2011 Deaths, American Military Personnel of World War II, American People of Irish Descent, American Roman Catholics, Brooklyn Politicians, Democratic Party Members of the United States House of Representatives, Democratic Party State Governors of the United States, Governors of New York, Members of the United States House of Representatives from New York, New York Democrats, People from Brooklyn, Presidents of the Organising Committees for the Olympic Games, St. John's University (New York City) Alumni, St. John's University School of Law Alumni, United States Army Officers, United States Presidential Candidates, 1976, United States Presidential Candidates, 1980
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Hugh Carey

Hugh Carey
51st Governor of New York
In office
January 1, 1975 – December 31, 1982
Lieutenant Mary Anne Krupsak
Mario Cuomo (1979–1982)
Preceded by Malcolm Wilson
Succeeded by Mario Cuomo
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 15th district
In office
January 3, 1963 – December 31, 1974
Preceded by John H. Ray
Succeeded by Leo C. Zeferetti
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 12th district
In office
January 3, 1961 – January 3, 1963
Preceded by Francis E. Dorn
Succeeded by Edna F. Kelly
Personal details
Born Hugh Leo Carey
(1919-04-11)April 11, 1919
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
Died August 7, 2011(2011-08-07) (aged 92)
Shelter Island, New York, U.S.
Resting place

Our Lady of the Isle Cemetery

Dering Harbor, New York
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Helen Owen (m. 1947; died 1974)
Evangeline Gouletas (m. 1981; div. 1989)
Children Alexandria
Hugh, Jr.
Alma mater St. John's University
St. John's University School of Law
Profession Lawyer
Religion Roman Catholicism
Awards Croix de guerre
Bronze Star Medal
Military service
Service/branch New York Army National Guard
United States Army
Years of service 1939–1946
Rank Lieutenant Colonel
Unit 101st Cavalry Regiment
104th Infantry Division
Battles/wars World War II

Hugh Leo Carey (April 11, 1919 – August 7, 2011) was an American attorney, a seven-term United States Representative (1961–1974), and the 51st Governor of New York from 1975 to 1982.


  • Early life 1
  • Early political career 2
  • Governorship 3
  • Family and death 4
  • Legacy 5
  • References 6
  • Bibliography 7
    • Primary sources 7.1
  • External links 8

Early life

Carey was born in Brooklyn, New York. Carey joined the U.S. Army as an enlisted man during World War II, served in Europe, and reached the rank of colonel. He received his bachelor's degree in 1942 and law degree in 1951 from St. John's University and was admitted to the bar that same year.

Early political career

Running as a Democrat, Carey was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1960, unseating Republican incumbent Francis E. Dorn. He served seven terms. He served on the House Ways and Means Committee and led the effort to pass the first Federal Aid to Education program. He was elected Governor of New York in 1974 and resigned his Congressional seat on December 31, 1974. Carey was reelected in 1978, serving two full terms as Governor. On January 1, 1983 he was succeeded by his lieutenant governor, Mario Cuomo. Carey then returned to private law practice with the firm of Harris Beach in New York City, where he resided until his death in August 2011. He was the first congressman from Brooklyn to oppose the Vietnam War.


Carey became the state's first Democratic Governor in 16 years when he was elected governor in 1974, unseating incumbent Republican Malcolm Wilson, who had assumed the office after Nelson Rockefeller resigned in December 1973 (to work on the Commission on Critical Choices for Americans). Nationally, the 1974 election were dominated by the Watergate scandal which had destroyed President Richard Nixon's presidency and impacted negatively Republicans in general, making them nationally unpopular. In 1974, Democrats also recaptured the New York State Assembly.

Carey is best remembered for his successful handling of New York City's economic crisis in the mid-1970s. As Governor he was responsible for building the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center; Battery Park City; the South Street Seaport and the economic development of the NYC boroughs outside Manhattan. He also helped provide state funding for the construction of the Carrier Dome at Syracuse University. He is also remembered for preventing conservative legislators from reinstating the death penalty and preventing such legislators from taking away state abortion laws.

Upon taking office, Carey cut taxes significantly, reduced corporate taxes from 14 percent to 10 percent, capped personal income tax at nine percent, and reduced capital gains taxes. His administration also offered tax credits to encourage new investment.[1]

Carey came into office with New York City close to bankruptcy. He brought business and labor together to help save New York City from the fiscal crisis that befell it in the 1970s. Carey managed to keep the growth of state spending below the rate of inflation through his frequent use of line-item vetoes and fights with the New York State Legislature, which was at the time divided between a Republican-controlled Senate and a Democratic-controlled Assembly.[2]

Carey signed the Willowbrook Consent Decree,[3][4] which ended the warehousing of the mentally ill and developmentally disabled. His vision and leadership led to the community placement of the mentally ill and developmentally disabled. He also made major strides in community programs for the mentally ill.

Carey's tenure in office was marked by a growing awareness of the environmental consequences of New York's strong industrial base, including the designation by the federal government of the Love Canal disaster area. Carey made environmental issues a priority of his administration.

Along with Senators Edward Kennedy and Daniel Patrick Moynihan and U.S. House Speaker Tip O'Neill, Carey led efforts to end the violence in Northern Ireland and support peace in the region. The four Irish-American politicians called themselves "The Four Horsemen."[5]

Carey considered running for President in 1976 and 1980. Carey's first wife had died in 1974, and Carey later attributed his decision not to seek the Democratic nomination for President in 1976 to her death.

Carey pardoned Cleveland "Jomo" Davis, one of the leaders of the Attica prison riots.

In 1978, he was challenged for re-election by State Assembly Minority Leader and former Assembly Speaker Perry Duryea. After a competitive, sometimes negative campaign, Carey was the first Democrat re-elected in 40 years. Carey decided against seeking a third term as governor in 1982. Mario Cuomo succeeded him.

In 1989, Carey announced that he was no longer pro-choice and regretted his support for legalized abortion and public financing of abortion as governor. In 1992, he joined other pro-life leaders in signing the pro-life document "A New American Compact: Caring About Women, Caring for the Unborn."[6]

Carey was a partner in the law firm of Finley, Kumble, Wagner, Underberg, Manley, Myerson & Casey. Later in his life, he was of counsel at the law firm of Shea & Gould. He continued to practice law as a member of the Harris Beach law firm and sat on the board of Triarc Cos.,[7] the Nelson Peltz controlled holding company.

Family and death

In 1947, Carey married Helen Owen. They became the parents of Alexandria, Christopher, Susan, Peter, Hugh, Jr., Michael, Donald, Marianne, Nancy, Helen, Bryan, Paul, Kevin, and Thomas. His wife, Helen, died of breast cancer in 1974. Peter and Hugh, Jr. died in an automobile accident in 1969. Paul, who served as White House Special Assistant to President Bill Clinton as well as 77th Commissioner of the Securities and Exchange Commission, died of cancer in 2001.

In 1981, Carey married Evangeline Gouletas, a Chicago-based Greek-American real estate mogul.[8] This marriage proved controversial and a political liability. The marriage generated controversy, since Gouletas had affirmed on the marriage license that she had two ex-husbands, when she actually had three. Gouletas also said that her first husband, with whom she had a daughter, was dead, but he was still alive at the time. The marriage also caused trouble for Carey with the Catholic Church, since he married a thrice-divorced woman in a Greek Orthodox Church. Carey and Gouletas-Carey divorced in 1989.[9] Carey later described this marriage as "his greatest failure."[10]

Carey died surrounded by his family on August 7, 2011. He was at his summer home on Shelter Island, New York.[11]


On October 22, 2009, he was named as the recipient of University at Albany Foundation's Citizen Laureate Award.[12] On October 22, 2012, the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel was officially renamed the "Hugh L. Carey Tunnel". It is still often called the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel by local residents.


  1. ^ "ProQuest Login – ProQuest". Retrieved 2011-08-08. 
  2. ^ Carroll, Thomas W. (Spring 1994). "The Status Cuomo". Policy Review. Retrieved 2011-08-08. 
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ Irish Echo (September 2, 2009) "The Last Horseman Raises His Hat"
  6. ^ "A New American Compact: Caring About Women, Caring for the Unborn". Catholic Online. June 17, 2008. Retrieved 2011-08-08. 
  7. ^ "Triarc". Triarc. Retrieved 2011-08-08. 
  8. ^ Mills, Barbara Kleban (May 4, 1981). "New York's Gov. Hugh Carey Weds the Empress of Mondo Condo, a Not-So-Sweet Evangeline". People. Retrieved 2011-08-08. 
  9. ^ Walls, Jennifer (July 31, 1989). "New York Intelligencer: Hugh and Engie: Split Ends". New York. Retrieved 2011-08-08. 
  10. ^ Roberts, Sam (December 5, 2005). "Requiem for a (Still-Living) Heavyweight". The New York Times. 
  11. ^ "Former Governor Hugh Carey Dead At 92".  
  12. ^


  • Kramer, Daniel C. (1997). The Days of Wine and Roses are Over: Governor Hugh Carey and New York State. University Press of America. 
  • Lachman, Seymour P.; Polner, Robert (2010). The Man Who Saved New York: Hugh Carey and the Great Fiscal Crisis of 1975. Albany: SUNY Press. 

Primary sources

  • Almeida, Linda Dowling, Peter Quinn, and Hugh Carey. "Oral History: Governor Hugh Carey Interviewed by Peter Quinn." American Journal of Irish Studies (2012): 179-190. in JSTOR

External links

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Francis E. Dorn
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 12th congressional district

Succeeded by
Edna F. Kelly
Preceded by
John H. Ray
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 15th congressional district

Succeeded by
Leo C. Zeferetti
Political offices
Preceded by
Malcolm Wilson
Governor of New York
Succeeded by
Mario Cuomo
Preceded by
Bruno Kreisky
President of Organizing Committee for Winter Olympic Games
Succeeded by
Branko Mikulić
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