American lawyer and politician who was elected to the New York State Senate representing the Upper West Side of New York City and Harlem in 1965.
He served two years in the U.S. Army during World War II before returning to St. John's to complete his undergraduate studies.
He was a member of key political groups in New York such as the Gang of Four, an African-American political coalition from Harlem which included David Dinkins and Charlie Rangel.
His son, David Paterson, became the 55th Governor of New York. His mother was Jamaican and his father was Carriacouan.
He worked closely with former New York City mayor David Dinkins.