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Hugh Leo Carey
New York

Gov. Hugh Leo Carey

  • January 1, 1975 - January 1, 1983
  • Democratic
  • April 11, 1919
  • August 7, 2011
  • New York
  • St. John's University
  • Married Engie; fifteen children
  • Representative
  • Army
  • Bronze Star, Croix de Guerre, Silver Star, Combat Infantry Award


HUGH L. CAREY was born April 11, 1919, in Brooklyn, New York. He was an officer in the U.S. Army during World War II, receiving the Bronze Star, Croix de Guerre with Silver Star, and Combat Infantry Award. Carey earned a J.S.D. from St. John’s University School of Law in 1951. After the war, Carey joined his brothers in building a successful petrochemical business. In his first political campaign in 1960 he was elected to the House of Representatives from the 12th Congressional District in Brooklyn. He served on the Education and Labor Committee, the Interior Committee and the Ways and Means Committee. During his seven terms in the United States Congress, he became a Deputy Whip and framed several pieces of landmark legislation on education, the rights of the disabled and revenue sharing. Carey was elected the 51st Governor of New York on November 5, 1974, and was re-elected in 1978. As governor he was the architect of the financial plan that averted the bankruptcy of New York City and began a sweeping program of fiscal reform and economic development to restore the state’s vitality. His extensive tax reduction program in excess of $2.5 billion was the keystone of restoring New York’s competitive economy in the 1970s. He instituted the “I Love New York” program and founded the Empire State Games. Nationally he was a spokesperson for regional concerns and a proponent of comprehensive programs for urban and industrial revitalization. He founded the Conference of Northeast Governors (CONEG). He served on the National Governors’ Conference Executive Committee from 1975 to 1976. In 1991 the governor was chosen by his fellow former governors as the first chair of the National Institute of Former Governors (since disbanded). Carey died August 7, 2011.


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