New York Leaders: Governor David A. Paterson

Portrait of David Patterson

Governor David A. Paterson

Paterson was New York’s first African- American, as well as, blind Governor. Since his graduation from Hofstra University Law School, Paterson has dedicated most of his adult life to public service. After working as an Assistant District Attorney and on the staff of Manhattan Borough President David Dinkins, he was elected to the State Senate seat once held by his father. In the Senate, Paterson was a strong advocate for quality public education, greater opportunities for minority and women-owned businesses and enhanced access to services for the disabled. In 2003, he was elected the Senate Minority Leader. During Eliot Spitzer’s 2006 gubernatorial campaign, Paterson was the nominee for Lieutenant Governor. On March 17, 2008, Paterson was sworn in as Governor after Eliot Spitzer resigned. As Governor, Paterson helped guide the State through the recession of 2008 and managed the State’s growing budget shortfalls. He left office on December 31, 2010.