Senator Kevin Parker Mourns the Loss of Secretary Basil Paterson

Kevin S. Parker

April 17, 2014

(Brooklyn, NY) “Please join me in extending heartfelt condolences to the Paterson family on the loss of a devoted husband and father, former Secretary of State and longtime Harlem and New York City leader Basil Paterson.

A member of Harlem’s famous and influential “Gang of Four”, which included Congressman Charlie Rangel, former Mayor David Dinkins and former Manhattan Borough President Percy Sutton, Basil Paterson  began his career as a blue-collar laborer but after serving in World War II, he graduated from law school and began practicing as an attorney.

In the 1950s and 1960s, Basil Paterson became active in Harlem and New York City politics, and was elected State Senator in 1965. In 1970, he stepped down to run for Lieutenant Governor, and in 1978 he was appointed Deputy Mayor of New York City under Mayor Ed Koch. In 1979, he became Secretary of State, and served until Governor Hugh Carey left office in 1982. After serving as Secretary of State, Basil Paterson returned to the private practice of law.

Among the many impressive achievements of our friend Basil Paterson were his term as Vice-Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, and his creation of the Main Street Program and the Neighborhood Preservation and Rural Preservation Programs. He also taught at SUNY New Paltz, Fordham University and Hunter College, and was a tireless advocate for political influence and economic and social achievement for African Americans and Latinos in New York City and State politics.

In Basil Paterson’s homegoing, New York City lost a true hero who led by example and cared deeply for the community he lived in for so many years. In the many different roles he played in fighting for opportunity, he maintained the compassion, integrity and dignity we look for in our community’s leaders.

Goodbye Secretary Paterson. You will be sorely missed.”


About Senator Kevin Parker

Senator Kevin S. Parker is intimately familiar with the needs of his ethnically diverse Brooklyn community that consists of 318,000 constituents in Flatbush, East Flatbush, Midwood, Ditmas Park, Kensington, Windsor Terrace, and Park Slope.  He is the Ranking Member of the Senate Energy and Telecommunications Committee and the Committee on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse, Assistant Democratic Leader for Intergovernmental Affairs, and Chair of the Democratic Task Force on New Americans.