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David A. Paterson

David A. PatersonAKA David Alexander Paterson

Born: 20-May-1954
Birthplace: Brooklyn, NY

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: Black
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Politician
Party Affiliation: Democratic

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Governor of New York, 2008-11

When Eliot Spitzer's resignation took effect on March 17, 2008, David A. Paterson became New York's first black Governor, the fourth black Governor in America's history, and America's second blind Governor (after Bob C. Riley of Arkansas). His father, Basil Paterson, was the first African-American to serve as New York Secretary of State, from 1979-83.

Paterson's single half-term as Governor was plagued with missteps and scandal, including a campaign of intimidation against a woman who filed charges alleging that she had been attacked by the Governor's top aide, David Johnson.

He began his career in politics working for David Dinkins, when Dinkins was running for borough president of Manhattan. He was elected to the New York State Senate in 1985, representing Harlem, and as a legislator he was a strong proponent of alternative energy, minority- and women-owned businesses, stem cell research, and preventing and punishing domestic violence. In 2002 he became Senate Minority Leader, and in 2006 he was elected New York's Lieutenant Governor.

Paterson has been legally blind since infancy, unable to see with his left eye and having extremely limited vision in his right eye. He has said he has experienced more discrimination as a disabled person than as a black person. As child, he once beaned a classmate with his lunch-pail for mocking his blindness. "Oddly enough", Paterson once explained, "where other public servants would be bothered when someone stops them in the supermarket, I am not, because as soon as the person is finished asking me a question about, 'What are you going to do about the hospitals this year,' or something like that, often, I have a question like, 'Could you show me where the sugar is?"'

Father: Basil Paterson (attorney, b. circa 1926)
Brother: Daniel Paterson (Office of Court Administration)
Wife: Michelle Renee Paige Paterson (b. circa 1962, m. Nov-1992, sep. Summer-2012)
Daughter: Ashley Paterson (stepdaughter, b. circa 1989)
Son: Alex Paterson (b. circa 1995)
Mistress: (extramarital affair 1999-2001)

    High School: Hempstead High School, Hempstead, NY (1971)
    University: BS, Columbia University (1977)
    Law School: JD, Hofstra University (1983)
    Administrator: Assistant Grants Officer, Bronx Community College
    Professor: Adjunct Professor of Public Affairs, Columbia University

    Governor of New York (17-Mar-2008 to 1-Jan-2011)
    Lieutenant Governor of New York (2007-08)
    New York State Senate 30th (1985-2007)
    American Foundation for the Blind
    Democratic National Committee
    Freemasonry Boyer Lodge #1 (Prince Hall)
    Sharpton 2004
    New York City Marathon 1999
    Funeral: Tim Russert (2008)
    Risk Factors: Blindness, Cocaine, Marijuana

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