Spitzer's Successor Would Be NY's First Black Governor

David Paterson
David Paterson

If Eliot Spitzer resigns, he would be succeeded by Lt. Governor David A. Paterson, who would become New York's first African American governor and the first who is legally blind.

According to his official biography, Paterson was born May 20,1954 in Brooklyn, NY. His father was Basil Paterson, the first non-white secretary of state of New York and the first African-American vice-chair of the national Democratic Party.

The Lt. Governor earned his bachelor's degree in History from Columbia University, graduating in 1977, and completed his J.D. at Hofstra Law School in 1982.

Paterson entered public life in 1985 when he began representing Harlem in the New York State Senate. In 2002, he became its Minority Leader -- the first non-white legislative leader in New York's history. He made history again in 2004 when he became the first visually impaired person to address the Democratic National Convention. And in 2006 Mr. Paterson was elected New York's first African-American lieutenant governor.

Paterson, who is legally blind, is a member of the American Foundation for the Blind, serves as a member of the Democratic National Committee and is a board member of the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee.

In addition, he is a member of the board of the Achilles Track Club, having completed the New York City Marathon in 1999.