David Alexander Paterson became the 55th Governor of the State of New York on March 17, 2008. In his first address as Governor, he spoke about the challenges facing New York and his plans to build a better and brighter future for all citizens. He was ahead of the national curve in predicting and acting on the state’s fiscal downturn.
During Governor Paterson’s 2008 inaugural address, he foretold of an impending national fiscal crisis and collapse. This forecast compelled New York’s Legislature to convene for a special session in August 2008. As a result of this session, the state reduced its deficit by $2 billion and mitigated further devastating financial upheaval, allowing it to maintain its credit rating for the duration of his term. He enacted legislation attaching severe criminal penalties to predatory lending and reduced New York’s fiscal deficit by nearly $40 billion. One of his greatest achievements was establishing a new budget process that has yielded on-time budgets since he left office.
Governor Paterson embodies a rare combination of skills, including a unique understanding of marketplace drivers and surrounding events. He earned his B.A in History from Columbia University and his J.D. from Hofstra Law School.
Prior to becoming New York State’s 55th governor in March 2008, David began his political career when he was elected to represent Harlem in 1985 at the age of 31, making him the third youngest state senator in New York’s history. In 2002, he was elected as Minority Leader of the New York State Senate, becoming the first African-American and blind legislative leader in the state’s history. Among his many other accomplishments and distinctions, he was honored to address the 2004 Democratic National Convention.
In 2014, David was appointed as Chairman of the New York State Democratic Party and served on the Board of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. He was previously an adjunct professor of government at New York University and later joined the faculty at Touro College. He consulted for three years for the Durst Corporation and the National Federation of the Blind and currently chairs the Board of the Achilles Track Club.
David hosts a popular drive-time talk radio show on WABC-AM, was formerly a host of a radio show on WOR-AM in New York City and is a highly sought-after speaker, frequently appearing as a guest commentator on nationally broadcast news-related programs.
Upon leaving his position as Director/Investments with the Stifel Investment Bank’s Moldaver Paterson & Lee Group, he joined Kivvit, a nationally acclaimed public affairs and public relations firm.
David is also Senior Vice President and Senior Advisor to Las Vegas Sands Corp. In his current position, he is helping lead the charge to help the casino and resort developer’s efforts to expand gaming downstate to create jobs and bring billions of dollars in immediate and sustainable revenue streams that will help people throughout New York.
David recently published his autobiography, Black, Blind & In Charge, a story of visionary leadership and overcoming adversity.
In 2019, the Patersons, David and Mary were married by former New York Mayor David N. Dinkins in New York City. Their family includes three children, Alex, Ashley and Anthony.
David’s mother, Portia Paterson, who fought to make him one of the first blind students to attend public school, just celebrated her 93rd birthday.View All