Chris Cuomo checks his watch and realizes he has to move fast. It's almost 3 p.m. and the Good Morning America
news anchor, who's already been on the job for 11 hours today, can't be late for his next assignment: picking up daughter Bella, 6, from day camp. He grabs his BlackBerry, dashes out the door of the ABC offices on Manhattan's Upper West Side and sprints several blocks in his blazer, arriving at pickup with a minute to spare. "I am that guy," he says, catching his breath amidst a sea of moms and nannies. "Part working man, part Mr. Mom."
Cuomo wouldn't have it any other way. The son of former New York governor Mario Cuomo and younger brother to New York attorney general Andrew Cuomo, he decided to forgo the family business of politics for a career in journalism. Since joining GMA
in 2006, he's covered both breaking news stories and lighter stories, creating a popular "Gets Answers" segment where he helps viewers solve problems—and recently Cuomo, 39, reunited a mother and daughter who hadn't seen each other in 12 years. "He has an authentic passion for helping people," says GMA
anchor Diane Sawyer. "There are a lot of people who want to be on television. But Chris lives for the kind of work that makes a difference."
Growing up in Queens, the youngest of Mario and Matilda Cuomo's five children learned about getting involved—and how to speak up for himself—early. "There was a lot of debate and pleasant argument" around the dinner table, recalls his famous father. Mario was elected New York's governor in 1982 and Chris, then 12, moved with his family into the executive mansion in Albany. "He was never spoiled," says Mario. "We wouldn't allow it." Instead, the Cuomos drilled a desire to achieve into their kids. "My father has a phenomenal work ethic," says the 1988 graduate of Albany Academy. "I got my drive to do the best that I possibly can from him."
After attending Yale University and Fordham University School of Law, Cuomo worked for three years as a lawyer before deciding he wanted a television career. In 1998 he landed a job as an on-air legal analyst; a gig as a correspondent on the ABC newsmagazine 20/20 followed. Since 2001 he has been married to magazine editor Cristina Greeven Cuomo, 39; the pair are raising Bella and Mario, 3, and are expecting their third child next winter. "What could be better than adding to your brood?" says the "excited and nervous" Chris, a hands-on dad. But much as he loves fatherhood, the morning anchor says he recoils a bit when he hears himself broadcasting admonitions like, "Don't suck your thumb!" and "What did I tell you about where your fingers go?"
Cristina, who runs Hamptons and Gotham magazines, marvels at her husband's ability to multitask. Although the pair have help, it's Chris who often tackles school pickups and playdates. "Chris takes Mario to the park and takes Bella on these adorable daddy-daughter dinner dates," says Cristina, who relieves him when she gets home from work, leaving Chris to prepare for the next day's GMA until he falls asleep. "Every night I put him to bed first, then my son, then my daughter. He's the only one that doesn't get a book at bedtime."
As tough as it is to wake to his 4 a.m. alarm, Cuomo says he's not at all tempted to leave his morning show couch and follow in the footsteps of his father and brother. "I am passionate about this, not politics. There are enough Cuomos in politics," he says. "And what other job lets you do all this?"