*Home*     *Early Life    *Soldier in Europe*     *Brooklyn Congressman*     *Family Man*     *Governor of New York     *Sources*

Family

"[He] insisted on spending four out of seven nights with at least some of his children, wherever
they were.  If the campaign schedule didn't read that way, he'd rip it up." – Jerry Cummins, campaign manager

"I left Congress to run for a job with a house---one big enough for my family." - Hugh Carey

 


                      Hugh and Helen Carey on their wedding day.

 

******************************************************************

Before Hugh was sent overseas to fight and was still a senior at St. Augstine's, he met a a senior sorority girl from St. Angela’s Hall (a Catholic school not far from his own) who asked him to participate in a benign hazing event.  She explained that in order for the younger girls at St. Angela’s to gain entrance into the school’s sorority, they had to kiss an upper-class boy.   Hugh agreed to participate and met up with the girl a few days later at the Brooklyn Heights hotel, where he was instructed to wait in a corridor.  Soon after he arrived a 13-year-old girl named Helen Owen entered into the corridor and gave Hugh a peck on the cheek.  Hugh left the hotel soon after, not knowing that the young girl he let kiss him would someday re-enter into his life in a big way.

During his first brief venture into politics, not long after his stint in Europe, Hugh set up a political luncheon for fellow young Democrats and WWII veterans at the Biltmore in Manhattan. He asked Eleanor Roosevelt to be his keynote speaker and she accepted.  After the luncheon a mixer was held and it was there that a lovely, very familiar looking brunette caught his eye.  Hugh quickly became reacquainted with Helen, now a war widow who had lost her husband in a shooting accident in 1945 while pregnant.

Hugh took an immediately liking to Helen and the two struck up a relationship. The couple married on February 27, 1947.  Hugh adopted Helen’s little girl Alexandria and the two would go on to have 13 more children: Christopher, Susan, Peter, Hugh Jr., Michael, Donald, Marianne, Nancy, Helen, Bryan, Paul, Kevin and Thomas.  Helen became Hugh’s closest confidante and was his biggest supporter. She was the also primary reason he continued on campaigning for the governorship despite Helen's death from breast cancer in March 1974 at the age of 49, during the early days of the campaign. She had insisted that he keep going and not give up. Though it was difficult, Hugh respected his wife’s wishes of continuing on with the campaign after her death and did so in her honor.

*******************************************************************

*************************************************

After his wife's death the Carey family, one that despite distance because of Hugh’s congressional work had always been close-knit, became even stronger and more supportive of one another.  Though Hugh had many individuals helping with his governmental campaign, all of his 12 kids (Peter and Hugh Jr. died in a 1969 automobile accident) contributed to the effort by licking envelopes, delivering messages and doing whatever else was needed to be done. When the eldest son Christopher leased a 20 bedroom inn on Shelter Island, NY in the summer of 77, his younger brothers and sisters all pitched in to help him, becoming busboys, waitresses, chambermaids and dishwashers.  Even Hugh assisted, serving as an occasional bellhop when needed.  As Governor of New York, Hugh could not always be with his kids 24/7 and they sometimes took advantage of that, (the Carey kids were known to have thrown some quite wild, memorable parties during their days in Albany) he did the best he could and they all turned out extremely well.  Today, Nancy is the executive vice president and chief operating officer of Picotte, Marianne is a senior account executive for Events Associates, Inc. in New York, and Bryan is a managing director of an investment firm, just to name a few.  Paul followed his father’s footsteps by entering into politics, serving as White House Special Assistant to President Bill Clinton and then as the 77th Commissioner of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission until his death in 2001 from a rare form of endocrinal cancer at the age of 38.

************************************************

 

 

 

 

*******************************************************

Hugh would fall in love again, with Evangeline Gouletas, a Greek-born Chicago heiress whom he met and married in 1981.  He received a lot of negative press after marrying Gouletas, whom he found lied to him about being a widow when she was in actuality a thrice divorced woman whose three ex-spouses were all alive and well.  Though he eventually divorced Evangeline in 1989, he was and forever continues to be remembered by some as “that sucker who married that woman with three husbands.”  He later referred to the marriage as his biggest failure.  Today, Hugh spends his personal time with the ones that have remained a constant fixture in his adult life and who have always supported him: his children; the ones who kept him going during one of the most difficult periods in his life and whom he sought to make proud, as well as their whole home state, when he managed to beat the incumbent Malcolm Wilson and become the 51st Governor of New York.

******************************************************

 

Next: *Governor of New York*