Mario Cuomo's keynote speech at the 1984 Democratic convention

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Friday, January 2, 2015

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Mario Cuomo's reputation for eloquence was secured at the 1984 Democratic National Convention when he delivered his "Tale of Two Cities" keynote address, in which he told of the lessons he learned as the son of a grocer in New York City.

"I watched a small man with thick calluses on both his hands work 15 and 16 hours a day," Cuomo told the crowd. "I saw him once literally bleed from the bottoms of his feet - a man who came here uneducated, alone, unable to speak the language - who taught me all I needed to know about faith and hard work by the simple eloquence of his example."

The electrified delegates in San Francisco cheered, "Mario! Mario! Mario!" and some wondered whether they had chosen the wrong presidential candidate in Walter Mondale.

Watch the speech: