Albany, NY (August 7, 2011)
"Today, New York State mourns the loss of one of our finest leaders, Governor Hugh L. Carey.
Governor Carey led our state during a time of great financial turmoil and pulled us back from the brink of bankruptcy and economic ruin.
Governor Carey was a true American success story. He was born and raised in Brooklyn. He served with valor in Germany during World War II and when he returned home to Brooklyn, he married and started a family. He became a civic and business leader and was elected to Congress, where no one fought harder for New York.
Governor Carey took charge of the state in the midst of a fiscal crisis - the bankruptcy of the City of New York. The city's finances were spiraling out of control and the expanding crisis threatened the fiscal stability of the state and the nation. Governor Carey faced this challenge with tenacity and a conviction that gave New Yorkers hope that government could lead our state through the crisis.
Declaring that the days of wine and roses were over, Governor Carey looked to statesmanship and compromise, rather than partisanship or parochialism, to get the state's fiscal house in order. He called for shared sacrifice and asked all New Yorkers to come together. New Yorkers across the state heard the Governor's call to action, followed his lead, and the ship was righted.
Beyond Governor Carey's extraordinary leadership and actions during the fiscal crisis, Governor Carey also stood tall for New Yorkers who could not stand up for themselves. Starting with the Willowbrook decree, Governor Carey took up the fight on behalf of individuals with developmental disabilities and imposed historic reforms on a system rife with dysfunction and abuse.
Governor Carey never backed away from a tough fight, but he also knew that governing meant respecting the Legislature and respecting members of the opposite party. His administration was not marked with partisan fights or ideological gridlock. He used his charisma, wit, and intellect to succeed.
His administration was one that will be remembered for its remarkable achievements and superlative competence in the operation of government, as well as the Governor's energy, enthusiasm and love of New York and for all New Yorkers.
Upon leaving office, it was written that Governor Carey was a 'Governor for hard winters.' It was true. He was tough, he was smart, and he was the person our state needed to see us through crisis.
On behalf of all New Yorkers, I send my thoughts and prayers to the members of the Carey family and offer our support as they mourn their loss."