Basil A. Paterson (1926-2014)

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Basil A. Paterson was a pioneer in African-American

Basil A. Paterson was a pioneer in African-American politics in New York. Photo Credit: Meyer, Suozzi, English & Klein

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ALBANY -- Basil A. Paterson, the father of former Gov. David A. Paterson and one of the pioneering lions of Harlem politics, died Wednesday night, according to a spokesman for his son.

He was 87.

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"Basil was well known throughout the community as a man of action, as someone who set his mind to accomplishments and always met those goals," the former governor said in a statement. "He was a selfless leader and he dedicated his life to making sure others' lives were better. Throughout his life, he was known as a pillar of strength by so many throughout New York. For that, we know he was grateful."

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