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  Paterson, Basil A.
NameBasil A. Paterson
New York, New York , United States
Born April 27, 1926
DiedApril 16, 2014 (87 years)
Last ModifedRBH
Jan 28, 2015 03:54am
Tags Army -
InfoLawyer Basil Alexander Paterson was born on April 27, 1926 in Harlem, New York. His mother Evangeline Rondon was a secretary for Marcus Garvey. Paterson received his high school diploma in 1942 from De Witt Clinton High School in Bronx, New York. After working for six months, he entered St. John's College and received his B.S. degree in biology in 1948, having spent two years in the Army. He entered St. John's Law School and received his J.D. degree in 1951. Paterson then began his professional career as a lawyer in Harlem where he became law partners with Ivan A. Michael and former New York City Mayor David Dinkins. Paterson and Dinkins became heavily involved in Democratic politics in Harlem, along with former Manhattan Borough President Percy Sutton, and Congressman Charles Rangel.

Paterson was elected to the New York State Senate in 1965 and remained there until he won the primary to be the Democratic candidate for Lieutenant Governor on a slate headed by Arthur Goldberg in 1970. The ticket lost to incumbent Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller. His son, David Paterson, was elected Lieutenant Governor in 2006. He became the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Institute for Mediation and Conflict Resolution in 1972. Paterson remained in that position until 1977. He was the first elected African American Vice Chairman of the Democratic National Committee in 1972. In 1978, Mayor Ed Koch appointed him to the position of Deputy Mayor of Labor Relations and Personnel. In 1979, Governor Hugh Carey appointed him to the position of New York Secretary of State, making him the first African American to hold that rank. In 1989, Paterson became a commissioner of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, a position he held until 1995.

Paterson chaired the New York City Mayor's Judiciary Committee for four years and the New York State Governor's Screening Panel for the Second Department for eight years. He also served for ten years as a member of the Board of Editors of the New York Law Journal. In 2003, he was appointed to the Commission to Promote Public Confidence in Judicial Elections. That same year, Paterson was elected Chairman of the KeySpan Foundation Board of Directors. He has served as Co-Chairman of the New York State Governor's Commission on Determinate Sentencing, and the New York State Commission on Powers of Local Government. Paterson has received numerous awards including the Humanitarian Award from Coalition of Black Trade Unionists, and St. John's University Medal of Excellence. He practices law at the law firm of Meyer, Suozzi, English and Klein and serves as co-chair of the firm's labor practice.

Paterson resides in New York City with his family.



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Son David Paterson 1954-

  01/03/1979 NY Secretary of State Won 100.00% (+100.00%)
  11/03/1970 NY Lt. Governor Lost 40.27% (-12.14%)
  06/23/1970 NY Lt. Governor - D Primary Won 71.10% (+42.19%)
  11/05/1968 NY State Senate 27 Won 82.67% (+67.52%)
  11/08/1966 NY State Senate 27 Won 77.35% (+56.98%)
  11/02/1965 NY State Senate 31 Won 56.11% (+32.29%)
  06/07/1960 NY Assembly - New York 11 - D Primary Lost 30.11% (-39.78%)