David Paterson – A Vision of Leadership
Politician, New York State Governor
People are fond of saying of people with disabilities that they are just like everybody else, but that's just something to say to make them feel better. When you have a disability you are not like everyone else. You are uniquely defined by a lack of vision. – David A. Paterson
David Paterson contracted a serious ear infection that spread to his optic nerve shortly after birth. The infection left him with no sight in his left eye and limited vision in his right eye. Paterson has allowed his visual impairment to affect his life in a deep way: it made him more driven. He graduated ahead of his peers in high school and learned how to fight for what he wanted. Paterson became the youngest New York state senator at the age of 31 in 1985. In 2008 he went on to become the first African American governor of New York state. Governor Paterson is an advocate for the American Foundation for the Blind.
Paterson has never let his visual impairment hold him back, instead, he has let it spur him forward to great heights.
View David's story