Mario Cuomo, Kenneth Cole’s Father-in-Law, Dies at 82

Mario Cuomo Kenneth Cole
Former New York governor Mario Cuomo attended an event in February 2007 honoring son-in-law Kenneth Cole.
Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images

Former New York Governor Mario Cuomo, father-in-law of designer Kenneth Cole, died yesterday of natural causes. Cuomo, who served three consecutive terms as governor, was 82.

Cole, who married Cuomo’s daughter, Maria Cuomo, in 1987, tweeted about his passing, “A sad day as we say goodbye to our friend, mentor, our ‘moral compass,’ our guiding light, my governor-in-law.”

Like Cuomo, Cole was politically and socially minded, a theme that ran throughout his many advertising and marketing campaigns. When Cole was awarded FN’s Icon Award for Social Impact in 2011, Cuomo said in an exclusive interview about his son-in-law, “There’s a Jewish law that says the world is imperfect, so try to make it better. Kenneth believes those things. He lives them.”

Cuomo early on was a supporter of Cole’s. In 2002, he was one of the participants in the first annual Kenneth Cole Leadership Forum at Atlanta’s Emory University, from which Cole graduated in 1976.

In 1996, Cuomo, then governor, was one of a trio of speakers at the opening of Cole’s Soho New York store. Cuomo, in sync with Cole’s ad campaign encouraging the public to get out and vote, told the crowd, “Voting has value, no matter whom you vote for or against.”

Among Cuomo’s survivors are Cole’s three children: Emily, Amanda and Katherine.