Born in 1945 in Brooklyn, Paterson's father Basil was a labor lawyer, and later a state senator, secretary of state, and deputy mayor of New York City. Paterson when was three, he suffered an ear infection that spread to his optic nerve and left him with little to no vision in either of his eyes. His family moved to Long Island so that he could attend a mainstream school, and he was the first disabled student to graduate from Hempstead High School in 1971.
He got his B.S. from Columbia in '77 and J.D. from Hofstra in '83. He then promptly failed the bar exam. However this has not slowed him, nor has his lack of normal eyesight. His career started in the Queens DA's office, and soon after he quit he won the nomination for deceased state senator Leon Bogues's seat. He won the election, and in 2002 became Senate minority leader. Then-Attorney General Eliot Spitzer picked Paterson as his running mate in the 2006 gubernatorial election. They won with 69% of the vote (a number that was certainly ironic not two years later).
Following Eliot Spitzer's downfall from a prostitution scandal, Paterson became New York's first African-American, not to mention blind, governor. He's since graciously informed every resident of the state of his (and his wife's) numerous extramarital affairs, his liaisons with state officials using campaign contributions, and his youthful predilection for Bolivian marching powder. He launched a brief campaign for the 2010 gubernatorial nomination, but quickly folder, for rather obvious reasons.
These days Paterson is talk show host on station WOR. And who better to be a journalist these days than a former politician.
[Image via Getty]