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Basil Paterson, a New York political leader who spent his life serving New York City, has died at age 87. He was once the state’s Secretary of State and is the father of former Gov. David Paterson.
According to the New York Daily News, Paterson died at Mt. Sinai Hosptial on Wednesday night.
Paterson was a member of the “Gang of Four” in Harlem, pushing the neighborhood’s fight for equality and is credited with helping African Americans have a voice in the city’s politics, notes NY 1. His career also included a tenure as the chairman of the Democratic National Committee.
He served in the State Senate in the 1970s and worked with Mayor Ed Koch as Deputy Mayor in the 1970s. He was Secretary of State under Gov. Hugh Carey. Later, he practiced labor law with Meyer, Suozzi, English & Klein on Long Island.
“We will remember him most of all as a man of conviction, a man of courage and a man of integrity. He will be greatly missed,” the Paterson family said in a statement.
Current Gov. Andrew Cuomo remembered Paterson as a man who “exemplified a model of public leadership, serving the people of New York with integrity and dedication to make this State a better place. New York will miss him.”
Paterson is survived by wife Portia and sons David and Daniel.