According to Vanity Fair, Andrew Cuomo was once married to wealthy heiress Kerry Kennedy, the daughter of Robert Kennedy and niece of former president John F. Kennedy. This marriage between the established American Kennedy dynasty and the up-and-coming Cuomo family was billed as the creation of Cuomolot, as their estate in upstate New York came to be called. But there was more than just love behind this failed marriage.

Kerry Kennedy was not meant to marry Andrew. The man she had intended to marry, a fellow undergraduate from Brown, had died unexpectedly of a heart attack during a snowball fight. The Kennedy family was less than impressed with Andrew, the new boyfriend, when she first brought him home. Andrew seemed like a status-seeking social climber, for whom every action, including the marriage to a Kennedy, was calculated to benefit his political career. The fact that the Kenendy family had once been Catholic nouveau-riche newcomers in Boston’s WASP elite (via “The Guardian“) was lost on them. The close-knit Cuomo family was not particularly fond of Kerry either, and one insider claimed that they only “[tried] to be supportive.”

Nevertheless, they were married in St. Matthew’s Cathedral in Washington, D.C., where JFK had married Jackie. Finding the comparisons irresistible, the press coined the term Cuomolot, imagining the joining of two political dynasties with all the pomp and ceremony of a European royal wedding. But Andrew’s obsession with his political career and his strained relations with his wife’s family proved too much, and the fairy-tale façade collapsed following their 2002 divorce.

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