George Pataki Fast Facts

CNN  — 

Here’s a look at the life of George Pataki, former governor of New York.


Birth date: June 24, 1945

Birth place: Peekskill, New York

Birth name: George Elmer Pataki

Father: Louis Pataki, postman

Mother: Margaret (Lagana) Pataki

Marriage: Elizabeth “Libby” Rowland (1973-present)

Children: Emily, Teddy, Allison and George Owen

Education: Yale University, B.A., 1967; Columbia Law School, J.D., 1970

Religion: Catholic

Other Facts

Governor of New York during the World Trade Center terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.

Was an editor of the Columbia Law Review.

Speaks Spanish, French, German and some Hungarian.

Was raised on a farm that his Hungarian grandparents owned.


1974-1987 - Partner in the New York law firm Plunkett & Jaffe.

1981 - Becomes the youngest elected mayor of his hometown of Peekskill, New York.

1985-1992 - Member of the New York State Assembly, serving four consecutive terms.

1993-1995 - New York state senator for the 37th District.

January 1, 1995 - Begins his first term as the 53rd governor of New York after defeating Mario Cuomo.

1998 - Is reelected governor of New York.

1998 - “Pataki: An Autobiography” is published.

2002 - Is reelected governor of New York for his third and final term.

December 17, 2002 - Signs the Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Act into law, which protects gay and lesbian New Yorkers from workplace, housing and other discrimination in public services.

February 16, 2006 - Undergoes an emergency appendectomy.

February 21, 2006 - Undergoes a surgery to alleviate a blockage in his digestive system.

2007 - President George W. Bush nominates Pataki to be a US representative to the 62nd Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations.

2007 - Joins the law firm of Chadbourne & Parke, focusing on environmental matters. Chadbourne & Parke later merges with Norton Rose Fulbright.

April 2010 - Announces the formation of Revere America, a political action committee fighting against President Barack Obama’s health care legislation.

May 28, 2015 - Pataki announces he will run for the GOP presidential nomination.

December 29, 2015 - Announces he is ending his bid for the Republican presidential nomination.

April 14, 2016 - Announces he is endorsing GOP presidential candidate John Kasich.

April 14, 2020 - Pataki’s book “Beyond The Great Divide: How A Nation Became A Neighborhood” is published.

June 3, 2021 - The Boscobel House and Gardens, a house museum in the Hudson Valley, names Pataki to its board of directors.