George Elmer Pataki (born June 24, 1945) is an American politician who was the 53rd Governor of New York serving three consecutive four-year terms from January 1, 1995 until December 31, 2006. He is a member of the Republican Party and was seen as a possible 2000 and 2008 Presidential candidate.
Pataki's paternal grandfather was János (later John) Pataki (1883–1971) of Aranyosapáti, Hungary, who came to the United States in 1908 and worked in a hat factory. János had married Erzsébet (later Elizabeth; 1887–1975) around 1904. Their son, Pataki's father, was Louis P. Pataki (1912–1996), a mailman. Pataki's maternal grandfather was Matteo Laganà (born in Calabria, Italy in 1889), who married Agnes Lynch of County Louth, Ireland around 1914. Their daughter, Margaret Lagana, is Pataki's mother. He has an older brother, Louis. George Pataki can still speak a little in Hungarian today.
Pataki married Elizabeth Rowland in 1973, and they have four children: Emily, Teddy, Allison, and Owen.
Pataki won a scholarship to enter Horace Mann School in Riverdale, a section of The Bronx. He then entered Yale University in 1964 on an academic scholarship, and graduated in 1967. While there he served
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