NEW YORK (PIX11)—His eulogy and obituary read like a love letter to the productivity of The Empire State and New York City.
Thanks in no small way to Hugh Carey's efforts, six of the ten wealthiest zip codes in the wealthiest nation on Earth are in New York City, according to the IRS. Also, some 19 million people make a living in the metropolitan area centered around New York City, including more billionaires than anywhere else on the planet.
The modern day attraction, appeal and energy of the Big Apple are largely due to the efforts of the man memorialized and funeralized at St. Patrick's Cathedral on Thursday.
When Hugh Carey was elected governor of New York in 1975, New York state was on weak financial footing, and New York City was on the brink of financial collapse.
As the famous New York Daily News headline "Ford To City: Drop Dead" pointed out, then-president Gerald Ford refused to commit federal money to help bail out the country's largest city.
That's when Democrat Hugh Carey stepped into the void with his sleeves rolled up. He worked tirelessly to bring business and labor leaders together to save New York City from bankruptcy. He also made liberal use of cost cutting tools like the line item veto to get and keep the growth New York State spending below the level of inflation.
Many major New York City real estate projects owe their existence and success to Carey's efforts. Battery Park City, South Street Seaport and The Jacob Javitz Convention Center are among the sites whose development Carey championed as part of New York City's comeback.
A long list of New York political standouts came to Carey's funeral, including Governor Andrew Cuomo and his father, former Governor Mario Cuomo, and former Governor George Pataki, as well as Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Rep. Peter King of Long Island, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz to name just a few.
Former New York City Mayor David Dinkins told PIX11 News that he came to pay respects because "Hugh Carey saved the city. He was there. Others were part of the effort, but it wouldn't have happened if he hadn't have rallied the troops."
Hugh Leo Carey passed away at his summer home on Shelter Island August 7th. His place of burial is also on Shelter Island. The father of 14 outlived three of his children. He is survived by 25 grandchildren and six great grandchildren, many of whom were at his funeral. Gov. Carey was 92 years old.