NEW YORK — Former Gov. Mario Cuomo’s legacy as a liberal champion and powerful orator whose upbringing as the child of immigrants inspired his public service was remembered at his funeral Tuesday by one who knew him best – his son, Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

“At his core, he was a philosopher. He was a poet. He was an advocate. He was a crusader. Mario Cuomo was the keynote speaker for our better angels,” the younger Cuomo said in a eulogy that spanned his father’s biggest speeches to his fierce competitiveness on the basketball court.

The former three-term governor – who flirted with but never made a presidential run and turned down an opportunity to be nominated for the U.S. Supreme Court – died Thursday, hours after his son was inaugurated for a second term.

Dignitaries, including Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton, Attorney General Eric Holder and Mayor Bill de Blasio, gathered to mourn the 82-year-old Democratic Party icon and honor his legacy.

Despite snow and low temperatures, dozens of police officers stood at attention in front of St. Ignatius Loyola Church, and a pipe and drum corps played solemnly as Cuomo’s casket was carried inside. Pallbearers included Cuomo’s younger son, CNN newscaster Chris Cuomo.

On Monday, hundreds waited in a line that stretched more than a block at Cuomo’s wake. Vice President Joe Biden, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and actor Alan Alda were among those who paid tribute.

Mario Cuomo was known for his deliberations over running for president. He came close to running in 1988 and 1992 but decided not to.

Why? “Because he didn’t want to” and loved being governor, Andrew Cuomo said in a heartfelt speech that mixed political legacy, personal memories of his “pops” and calls to move the state forward in his father’s footsteps.

Governor from 1983 to 1994, the elder Cuomo was most remembered for a speech at the 1984 Democratic National Convention in San Francisco, where he focused on an America divided between haves and have-nots and scolded Republican President Ronald Reagan for not working to close that gap.

The son of an Italian grocer in working-class Queens, Cuomo “had a natural connection with the outsider looking in,” Andrew Cuomo said. “He was always the son of an immigrant. He was always he outsider. And that was his edge.”

As governor, the elder Cuomo cut taxes and trimmed the state workforce, Andrew Cuomo noted.

“My father called himself a progressive pragmatist. … His goals were progressive, but his means were pragmatic,” he said.

The younger Cuomo is known as a guarded, calculating leader. Tuesday’s eulogy provided a much more personal glimpse of a man mourning his father.

“There were moments when there wasn’t a dry eye in the church,” said Democratic U.S. Rep. Eliot Engel.