Mourners attending the funeral Thursday of former Gov. Hugh Carey praised the skillful politician for helping the city recover from the brink of financial ruin in the 1970s and recalled his colorful quirks and love of New York.
"He was the most effective governor in modern history," said former Gov. Mario Cuomo, among a sea of political figures at St. Patrick's Cathedral, including his son, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, former Gov. George Pataki, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and former mayors Rudy Giuliani, Ed Koch and David Dinkins.
Carey died Sunday at age 92 on Shelter Island, where he was buried.
The Park Slope-born, two-term governor (1975-1982) fought for the rights of the mentally ill and launched the "I Love New York" campaign. He helped steer the state during dire economic times.
"As governor, he faced both a state and a city which, in the words of Mayor Koch, were headed toward the pit of bankruptcy. He took the matter in hand with incredible skill and unlimited courage," Cardinal Edward Egan told mourners.
Rep. Charles Rangel (D-Harlem) recalled how Carey would sing Irish songs: “He loved every day of life.
Carey, the father of 14, once said: "I would like to be remembered as somebody who cared a great deal about people."