Taking a look at the Cuomo family homestead 1

The Cuomo family house at 188-17 Rio Drive, in Hollis, as it appeared in the 1940s.

Andrea “known as Andrew” Cuomo was born in Provincia Di Salerno Campania, Italy on Nov. 3, 1901 and came to America on Nov. 6, 1911 on the ship Principe Di Piemonte. U.S. Census reports reveal he had only a sixth-grade education and went into the retail grocery business in South Jamaica. He married Immaculata Giordano, and they had three children, Frank in 1927, Maria in 1928 and Mario in 1932.

Hard, long hours and saving their money paid off. In 1949 they purchased a large 38-by-134-foot home at 188-17 Rio Drive in Hollis.

Their youngest child, Mario, wanted to play baseball and looked forward to a career that began with a Pittsburgh Pirates farm team. But an injury put him in the hospital for six days, and had him make a serious career change when he got out. He graduated St. John’s University in 1952.

Mario met a Brooklyn girl, Matilda Raffa, and got married in 1954. They moved into an apartment at 86-06 208 St. in Queens Village. He was now focused on a law career. The marriage produced five children — Andrew, Marie, Margaret, Madeline and Christopher. They lived in the Rio Drive home while they had their own home built in the 1960s at 196-07 Pompeii Ave. Mario got into politics and was elected the 52nd governor of New York State serving from 1983 to 1994.

The Rio Drive Cuomo house still looks today as it did when Mario lived there.

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