Not many people die doing what they love to do, but that is exactly how Clifton Maloney, husband of Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), passed from this world. An avid climber, Clifton had scaled the sixth highest mountain in the world, Cho Oyu (meaning “Green Goddess”), in Tibet on Thursday. Cho Oyu is located about ten miles from Mount Everest. Politico reported that on Friday, after resting at a base camp, he told a companion, “I’m the happiest man in the world — I have just climbed a beautiful mountain.” Clifton Maloney went to sleep and never awoke. Clifton Maloney was 71.
Carolyn Maloney was notified of her husband’s death by the State Department on Friday. She cancelled a scheduled press conference set for Saturday to be with her family. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton informed Congresswoman Maloney that she was working on arrangements for having Clifton Maloney’s body returned to the United States.
Clifton Maloney was a multimillionaire who was president of a private investment firm that he founded in 1981, C.H.W. Maloney & Co., Inc. For a decade, until 1984, Maloney was an investment banking vice-president at Goldman, Sachs & Co. According to Forbes.com, he was director of Chromium Industries, Inc. and The Wall Street Fund as well.
But mountain climbing was his passion. Clifton Maloney was in good heatlh and went on several expeditions each year.
Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney has been the representative for New York’s 14th Congressional District since 1993. She was considering running for the U. S. Senate seat that was held by Hillary Clinton until she became President Obama’s Secretary of State, currently being held by appointee Kirsten Gillibrand, but announced earlier this year that she would not seek the seat.
Carolyn Maloney’s accomplishments as a legislator are many, but she is known most for her work regarding women’s rights issues. She wrote a key measure in the Debbie Smith Act that provided federal funding to clear backlogged rape cases and enter them into a national database, something that the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN) considers the “most important anti-rape legislation considered by Congress.” In addition, she authored or co-authored legislation to curb sex trafficking, provide tax credits for child care, and secured for federal employees four weeks of paid parental leave. On July 21, 2009 Carolyn Maloney re-introduced the Equal Rights Amendment to Congress, which would create an amendment to the Constitution to guarantee equal rights under the law regardless of sex.
Carolyn Maloney’s work on the Debbie Smith Act was made into a Liftetime origina movie, “A Life Interrupted: The Debbie Smith Story.”
Clifton Maloney is survived by his wife and their two daughters, Christina and Virginia.