The POZCAST: Career & Life Journeys with Adam Posner

NY Governor David Paterson: Black, Blind & In Charge

Episode Summary

Welcome to the 99th episode of #thepozcast. I am proud and humbled to introduce my guest, the 55th Governor of The State of NY, David Paterson. We will unpack everything from his career before Governor, during and after, racism in America, police brutality and a ton more. For those of you who are unfamiliar with him, Gov David Paterson is a member of the Democractic Party who served as the 55th governor of NY, succeeding Eliot Spitzer and serving out nearly three years of Spitzer's term from March 2008 to the end of 2010. He is the first African American to serve as Governor of New York and the second legally blind governor of a U.S. state. If you want to hear his entire fascinating life story, be sure to check out his upcoming book, “Black, Blind and In Charge”, out now! It is a title that hits you right between the eyes, second only to a Governor put in office by a prostitution scandal. Scandals aside, David Paterson overcame severe disability and racial prejudice to become a state senator, lieutenant governor, and—unexpectedly—governor of New York. Paterson is well known for his remarkable vision. Tackling fiscal responsibility & balancing budgets. He fought for same sex marriage and against disability discrimination. When he appeared on an episode of Saturday Night Live, he even quipped, “You guys spent so much time talking about my blindness that I forgot I was black.” His candid admissions, even while serving as governor, are refreshing in this era where the truth and public servants are rarely mentioned in the same sentence. I had the honor to receive an advance copy of his book. It is filled (as Gov says) with stories of conspiracies of improbability, stories of how he overcame his disability and adversity and how at times both held him back.  The Gov weaves the quilt of his life with stories of his childhood in Brooklyn, his teen years and his parents moving to Long Island so he could get a better education (like mine), through law school (Hofstra) and his rise in politics. Each thread with more color and texture, from marching through Harlem with his hero Mohamad Ali to tie shopping with Gov Arnold. At times I laughed, tensed up, felt his deep passion and then in the same breath, I could hear the Gov doing his Trump impression while I read that story. This is a self-help book encapsulated from the memories of one who continues to help himself through his service to others, the credo of public life. I truly loved the book and learned so much and I am excited to dive in deep with the Governor today. As a life- long and proud NY’er I am thrilled to welcome the 55th Governor of MY great state of New York, Governor David Paterson. You can order the Governor's new book, "Black, Blind and In Charge" here: For more, please visit If you enjoyed this episode, please leave a review:

Episode Notes

5:30- The New Racism
11:44 - Impetus for Real Change?
16:25 - Attack on Police Force?
19:03 - Presidential Affairs with reference to his Published Book
22:56 - Overcoming Adversity
27:31 - Basketball Story with Gov. Cuomo
29:27 - March with Mohammad Ali
31:20 - President Obama
40:10 - Washington Story
42:54 - Thoughts on Trump
46:30 - Queen Elizabeth's Story
47:54 - Tom Hanks Incident
48:26 - Survivors and a German incident
50:17 - The Pope Episode
52:53 - Favorite Moment in the Book
53:43 - Advice for a Long Lasting Marriage
55:12 - Authenticity
57:16 - Don't take anything Personal
59:37 - Silver Lining in times of Covid