Creative Person of the Week

17 Dec

David Alexander Paterson (born May 20, 1954) is an American politician who served as the 55th Governor of New York, from 2008 to 2010. During his tenure he was the first governor of New York of African American heritage and also the second legally blind governor of any U.S. state.

Paterson worked in the District Attorney’s office of Queens County, New York. In 1985, he was elected to the New York State Senate to a seat that was once held by his father. In 2003, he rose to the position of Senate Minority Leader. Paterson was selected as running mate by Democratic Party gubernatorial nominee Eliot Spitzer in the 2006 New York gubernatorial election. Spitzer and Paterson were elected in November 2006, and Paterson took office as Lieutenant Governor on January 1, 2007.

When Spitzer resigned in the wake of a prostitution scandal, Paterson was sworn in as governor of New York on March 17, 2008. Paterson launched a brief campaign for a full term as Governor in the 2010 gubernatorial election, but announced on February 26, 2010, that he would not be a candidate in the Democratic primary.

David Paterson was born in Brooklyn to Portia Paterson, a homemaker, and labor law attorney Basil Paterson. Basil Paterson was later a New York state senator and secretary of state, and served as deputy mayor of New York City. According to a New York Now interview, Paterson traces his roots on his mother’s side of the family to pre-Civil War African American slaves in the states of North Carolina and South Carolina. His father is half Afro-Jamaican.

At the age of three months, Paterson contracted an ear infection which spread to his optic nerve, leaving him with no sight in his left eye and severely limited vision in his right. Since New York City public schools would not guarantee him an education without placing him in special education classes, his family bought a home in the Long Island suburb of South Hempstead so that he could attend mainstream classes there. Paterson was the first disabled student in the Hempstead public schools, graduating from Hempstead High School in 1971.

Paterson received a B.A. in History from Columbia University in 1977 and a law degree from Hofstra Law School in 1983. After law school, he went to work for the Queens District Attorney’s Office, but did not pass the New York bar examination, and did not become an Attorney at law. He attributed his failing the New York bar to insufficient accommodation for his visual impairment, and has since advocated for changes in bar exam procedures.

While he was governor, Paterson’s staff read documents to him over voice mail. Paterson was the first governor of New York to be partly blind.

In late December 2006, shortly before being sworn in as lieutenant governor, Paterson said that if he ever succeeded Spitzer as governor, he and Nelson A. Rockefeller would have something besides the governorship in common: great difficulty in reading. Rockefeller was dyslexic, which Paterson compared to his blindness. During his time as Lieutenant Governor, Paterson also served as an adjunct professor at Columbia University’s School for International and Public Affairs.

Since leaving office, Paterson has been a radio talk show host on station WOR in New York City.

 

(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Paterson)

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One Response to “Creative Person of the Week”

  1. 美体小铺 January 8, 2012 at 3:36 PM #

    what a story and what an achievement by David Alexander Paterson. thanks for the information shared.

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