Born on June 24, 1945, in Peekskill, New York, George Elmer Pataki was the 53rd Governor of New York State. He served as Governor from 1995 to 2006. His grandfather, John Pataki, was Hungarian-born and came to the United States in 1908. His father, Louis P. Pataki was a mailman, and his mother is Margaret Lagana. Young Pataki was a promising student and went to Yale University with George W. Bush. After graduating from Yale, he went on to Columbia Law School. After a short spell on Wall Street, he started practicing law. George Pataki married Elizabeth Rowland in 1973. They have four children.
While practicing law, Pataki was elected as the Mayor of his hometown, Peekskill, in November of 1981. In November 1984 he was elected to the New York State Assembly. Finally, in November 1992, George Pataki won election to the New York State Senate. In 1994, the year of the Republican revolution, he decided to run for Governor of New York, and defeated three-time incumbent Mario Cuomo. In his 1998 campaign, he defeated Democratic contender Peter Vallone and Independent nominee Thomas Galisano to win the gubernatorial office for the second time. Pataki was Governor at the time of the 9/11 attacks. Luckily, he moved his office from the World Trade Center to new offices on Third Avenue and Fifth Street. In 2002, he was elected as the Governor of New York for the third time.
Gay Rights Activist
Pataki is pro-choice in regards to the abortion issue. He lobbied in favor of gay rights. On this issue, he faced strong opposition from Senator Joseph Bruno, who eventually conceded. The Senate passed the bill and Pataki signed it into law in 2003.
Never Lost in an Election for Public Office
Pataki has an outstanding reputation for never losing an election for public office. From his first 1981 mayoral election to his consecutive third term as Governor, Pataki never lost. Since his last gubernatorial election, Pataki has not run for any public office. Though he was rumored to be considering running for President in 2008 and 2012, he eventually decided not to run.
Pataki announced his candidacy formally on May 28, 2015, and is running for public office after a long break. Given his reputation for never losing, he will be the oldest U.S. president (if elected) after Ronald Reagan, who was two weeks shy of his 70th birthday.