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State of New York
David A. Paterson became New York’s 55th Governor on March 17, 2008. In his 23 years serving the people of New York, Governor Paterson has worked towards change by reaching across party lines and bringing people together. Gov. Paterson began his political career at the age of in 1985, when he was elected to represent Harlem in the New York State Senate, becoming the youngest Senator in Albany. In 2003, he became the minority leader of the New York State Senate, the first non-white legislative leader in New York’s history. In 2004, he became the first visually impaired person to address the Democratic National Convention. He became New York''s first African American Lieutenant Governor in 2007 and is now New York''s first African American Governor.
As Lieutenant Governor, Governor Paterson led the charge on several crucial issues for New York’s future: achieving legislation for a $600 million stem cell research initiative in New York, the nation''s second largest allocation; putting forth a statewide renewable energy strategy; working to prevent domestic violence and empower of its victims; and serving as a champion for minority- and women-owned businesses in New York.
Governor Paterson, who is legally blind, is nationally recognized as a leading active advocate for the visually and physically impaired. He is a member of the American Foundation for the Blind. He serves as a member of the Democratic National Committee and as a board member of the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee.
Governor Paterson earned his bachelor’s degree in History from Columbia University in 1977, and completed his J.D. at Hofstra Law School in 1982. Governor Paterson lives with his wife, Michelle Paige Paterson, and their two children, Ashley and Alex. Ashley goes to college in Upstate New York, and Alex attends public school in New York City.