Basil Paterson

Born 1926

Basil Alexander Paterson, a labor lawyer, is a longtime political leader in New York and Harlem and father of the 55th Governor of New York, David Paterson. His mother was Jamaican, his father Grenadian.

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News + Updates

Browse recent news and stories about Basil Paterson.

  • Base Of Black Political Power Shifts From Harlem Crain's New York Business
    Google News - Jun 26, 2011
  • Trying Times For The Father Of A Governor Under Fire
    NYTimes - Mar 11, 2010
  • A Scandal Scars A Piece Of Harlem History
    NYTimes - Feb 28, 2010
  • Bookshelf; Art Form's Pioneer; Achievers' Incubator
    NYTimes - Feb 21, 2010


Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of Basil Paterson.


1926 Birth Born in 1926.


1947 21 Years Old While there he was very active in social and community service organizations, among them the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity., joining the ranks of the Omicron chapter of New York (now at Columbia University) in 1947. … Read More
1951 25 Years Old He was later admitted to St. John's Law School, where he received a Juris Doctor degree in 1951. … Read More


1965 39 Years Old In 1965, Paterson was elected to the New York State Senate representing the Upper West Side of New York City and Harlem.


1970 44 Years Old He gave up his Senate seat in 1970 to run for Lieutenant Governor of New York, as the running mate of former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Arthur Goldberg. … Read More


1978 52 Years Old In 1978, Paterson was appointed as a Deputy Mayor of New York City by then Mayor Ed Koch.
1979 53 Years Old He stepped down as deputy mayor in 1979 to become Secretary of State of New York, the first black person in the post, and served until the end of the Hugh Carey administration in 1982. … Read More


2006 80 Years Old Paterson is the father of former New York Governor David Paterson, who was elected Lieutenant Governor in 2006 on a ticket with Gov. Eliot Spitzer. David Paterson succeeded to the governor's office upon Spitzer's resignation on March 17, 2008. … Read More
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