Libby Pataki

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Libby Pataki, November 15, 2007. Photo by Christopher Peterson

Libby Pataki (born Mary Elizabeth Rowland;[1] November 17, 1950) is the former First Lady of New York and the wife of former New York Governor George Pataki. She served as First Lady during the three terms of her husband's administration. Governor Pataki did not seek re-election to a fourth term in 2006.

Life and career[edit]

Pataki was born in Dallas, Texas, to Monique (Leblanc) and Col. Henry C. Rowland, Jr., an army officer and diplomat.[1][2][3] Her mother was French.[4]

As First Lady, Pataki focused on promoting the state's agriculture industry and preventing breast cancer.[5] Traveling throughout the state of New York, she worked to increase public awareness of breast cancer.

Pataki is a former marketing executive who managed the family farm in Peekskill, New York. As First Lady, Pataki accepted contracts to serve as a marketing consultant with various corporations, including Revlon.

In 2000, Pataki appeared on a radio show in which she criticized then-New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani for taking too long to drop out of the U.S. Senate race against First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton. Pataki said that the delay hampered the campaign of the eventual Republican nominee, Congressman Rick Lazio.

Pataki's father was a career military officer. She graduated from Beaufort High School in Beaufort, South Carolina and Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts. She and her husband, who married in 1973, have four children. Along with Nathan Sharansky, she serves as the co-founder of the pro-Israel institution One Jerusalem which supports the Israeli annexation of East Jerusalem, a territory recognised as being under Israeli occupation by the international community.


Honorary titles
Preceded by
Matilda Cuomo
First Lady of New York
January 1,1995 – January 1, 2007
Succeeded by
Silda Wall Spitzer