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List of Governors of New York

List of Governors of New York

The governor of New York is the head of the executive branch of New York's state government and the commander-in-chief of the state's National Guard.[21] The governor has a duty to enforce state laws, to convene the New York legislature,[21] the power to either approve or veto bills passed by the legislature,[22] and to grant pardons, except in cases of treason and impeachment.[23]

Fifty-six people have served as governor, four of whom served non-consecutive terms; the official numbering only lists each governor once, so there have officially been fifty-six governors. All of them have been men. New York has never had a female governor. This numbering includes one acting governor: the lieutenant governor who filled the vacancy after the resignation of the governor, under the 1777 Constitution.[24] The list does not include people who have acted as governor when the governor was out of state, such as Lieutenant Governor Timothy L. Woodruff during Theodore Roosevelt's vice presidential campaign in 1900, or Acting Speaker of the New York State Assembly Moses M. Weinstein, who acted as governor for ten days in 1968 while the governor, the lieutenant governor and the senate majority leader were out of the state, attending the Republican National Convention in Miami.[25]

Four men have become President of the United States after serving as Governor of New York: Martin Van Buren, Grover Cleveland, Theodore Roosevelt, and Franklin D. Roosevelt, and six were Vice President of the United States. Van Buren and Theodore Roosevelt held both offices. Two governors have been Chief Justice of the United States: John Jay held that position when he was elected governor in 1795, and Charles Evans Hughes became chief justice in 1930, two decades after leaving the governorship.

The longest-serving governor was the first, George Clinton, who first took office on July 30, 1777, and served seven terms in two different periods, totaling just under 21 years in office. As 18 of those years were consecutive, Clinton also served the longest consecutive period in office for a New York governor. Charles Poletti had the shortest term, serving 29 days following the resignation of the previous governor, Herbert H. Lehman in 1942. The current governor is Democrat Andrew Cuomo, who took office on January 1, 2011.


New York was one of the original thirteen colonies on the east coast of North America, and was admitted as a state on July 26, 1788. Prior to declaring its independence, New York was a colony of the Kingdom of Great Britain, which it in turn obtained from the Dutch as the colony of New Netherland; see the lists of colonial governors and of directors-general of New Netherland for the pre-statehood period.

The office of the governor was established by the first New York Constitution in 1777. The governor was originally for a term of three years,[26] though the constitution did not specify when the term began. A 1787 law set the start of the term at July 1.[27] The New York State Constitutional Convention of 1821 amended the state constitution, reducing the term of office to two years,[28] moving the election to November,[29] and moving the beginning and the end of the term to coincide with the calendar year.[30] An 1874 amendment extended the term of office back to three years,[31] but the 1894 constitution again reduced it to two years.[32] The most recent New York Constitution of 1938 extended the term to the current four years.[33] There is no limit to the number of consecutive terms a governor may serve.

The Constitution has provided since 1777 for the election of a lieutenant governor of New York, who is ex officio President of the Senate, to the same term (keeping the same term lengths as the governor throughout all the constitutional revisions). Originally, in the event of the death, resignation or impeachment of the governor, the lieutenant governor would become acting governor until the end of the yearly legislative term, the office being filled in a special election, if there was a remainder of the term.[34] Since the 1821 Constitution, the lieutenant governor explicitly becomes governor upon such vacancy in the office and serves for the entire remainder of the term.[35] Should the office of lieutenant governor become vacant, the President pro tempore of the State Senate[1] performs all the duties of the lieutenant governor until the vacancy is filled either at the next gubernatorial election or by appointment.[2] Likewise, should both offices become vacant at the same time, the President pro tempore acts as governor, with the office of lieutenant governor remaining vacant. Should the presidency pro tempore be vacant too, or the incumbent unable to fulfill the duties, the Speaker of the State Assembly is next in the line of succession.[36] The lieutenant governor is elected on the same ticket as the governor, since the 1954 election with a single joint vote cast for both offices, but is nominated separately.[37]

Governors of the State of New York
No.GovernorTerm in officePartyElectionLieutenant Governor
1George Clinton by Ezra Ames (full portrait).jpgGeorge ClintonJuly 30, 1777

June 30, 1795
Democratic– Republican1777Pierre Van Cortlandt
2John Jay (Gilbert Stuart portrait).jpgJohn JayJuly 1, 1795

June 30, 1801
Federalist1795Stephen Van Rensselaer
1George Clinton by Ezra Ames (full portrait).jpgGeorge ClintonJuly 1, 1801

June 30, 1804
Democratic– Republican1801Jeremiah Van Rensselaer
3Morgan Lewis (portrait by Henry Inman).pngMorgan LewisJuly 1, 1804

June 30, 1807
Democratic– Republican1804John Broome
(died August 8, 1810)
4DTompkins.pngDaniel D. TompkinsJuly 1, 1807

February 24, 1817
Democratic– Republican1807
John Tayler
(acting from January 29, 1811)
DeWitt Clinton
(elected May 2, 1811)
1813John Tayler
5John Tayler, governor of New York (portrait by Ezra Ames).pngJohn Tayler
February 24, 1817

June 30, 1817
Democratic– RepublicanPhiletus Swift
6DeWitt Clinton by Rembrandt Peale.jpgDeWitt ClintonJuly 1, 1817

December 31, 1822
Democratic– Republican1817John Tayler
7JosephCYates.jpgJoseph C. YatesJanuary 1, 1823

December 31, 1824
Democratic– Republican1822Erastus Root
6DeWitt Clinton by Rembrandt Peale.jpgDeWitt ClintonJanuary 1, 1825

February 11, 1828
Democratic– Republican1824James Tallmadge Jr.
Nathaniel Pitcher
8Nathaniel PitcherFebruary 11, 1828

December 31, 1828
Democratic– RepublicanPeter R. Livingston
Charles Dayan
(acting from October 17, 1828)
9MVanBuren.pngMartin Van BurenJanuary 1, 1829

March 12, 1829
Enos T. Throop
10EThroop.pngEnos T. ThroopMarch 12, 1829

December 31, 1832
DemocraticCharles Stebbins
William M. Oliver
1830Edward Philip Livingston
11WMarcy.pngWilliam L. MarcyJanuary 1, 1833

December 31, 1838
Democratic1832John Tracy
12Henry Inman - William H. Seward.jpgWilliam H. SewardJanuary 1, 1839

December 31, 1842
Whig1838Luther Bradish
13WBouck.pngWilliam C. BouckJanuary 1, 1843

December 31, 1844
Democratic1842Daniel S. Dickinson
14Silas Wright, Jr. (Engraved Portrait).jpgSilas WrightJanuary 1, 1845

December 31, 1846
Democratic1844Addison Gardiner
15New York Governor John Young.jpgJohn YoungJanuary 1, 1847

December 31, 1848
Albert Lester
Hamilton Fish
16Hamilton Fish (portrait by Charles Loring Elliott).pngHamilton FishJanuary 1, 1849

December 31, 1850
Whig1848George W. Patterson
17WashingtonHunt.pngWashington HuntJanuary 1, 1851

December 31, 1852
Whig1850Sanford E. Church
18Horatio Seymour - Brady-Handysmall.jpgHoratio SeymourJanuary 1, 1853

December 31, 1854
19Myron H. Clark (portrait by Leon Bonnat).pngMyron H. ClarkJanuary 1, 1855

December 31, 1856
1854Henry Jarvis Raymond
20John Alsop King.jpgJohn A. KingJanuary 1, 1857

December 31, 1858
Republican1856Henry R. Selden
21Edwin D. Morgan (portrait by George Peter Alexander Healey).pngEdwin D. MorganJanuary 1, 1859

December 31, 1862
Republican1858Robert Campbell
18Horatio Seymour - Brady-Handysmall.pngHoratio SeymourJanuary 1, 1863

December 31, 1864
Democratic1862David R. Floyd-Jones
22Reuben Fenton - Brady-Handy.jpgReuben FentonJanuary 1, 1865

December 31, 1868
Union1864Thomas G. Alvord
1866Stewart L. Woodford
23John T. Hoffman (portrait by Jacob Lazarus).pngJohn T. HoffmanJanuary 1, 1869

December 31, 1872
Democratic1868Allen C. Beach
24JADix.pngJohn Adams DixJanuary 1, 1873

December 31, 1874
Republican1872John C. Robinson
25SJTilden of NY.jpgSamuel J. TildenJanuary 1, 1875

December 31, 1876
Democratic1874William Dorsheimer
26Lucius Robinson (portrait by George Waters).pngLucius RobinsonJanuary 1, 1877

December 31, 1879
27Alonzo B. Cornell.jpgAlonzo B. CornellJanuary 1, 1880

December 31, 1882
Republican1879George Gilbert Hoskins
28StephenGroverCleveland.pngGrover ClevelandJanuary 1, 1883

January 6, 1885
David B. Hill
29DavidBennettHill.pngDavid B. HillJanuary 6, 1885

December 31, 1891
DemocraticDennis McCarthy
1885Edward F. Jones
30RPFlowers-portrait.jpgRoswell P. FlowerJanuary 1, 1892

December 31, 1894
Democratic1891William F. Sheehan
31Levi Morton - Brady-Handy portrait - standard crop.jpgLevi P. MortonJanuary 1, 1895

December 31, 1896
Charles T. Saxton
32Frank S Black.jpgFrank S. BlackJanuary 1, 1897

December 31, 1898
Republican1896Timothy L. Woodruff
33T Roosevelt.jpgTheodore RooseveltJanuary 1, 1899

December 31, 1900
34Benjamin Barker Odell Jr cph.3b20166.jpgBenjamin OdellJanuary 1, 1901

December 31, 1904
1902Frank W. Higgins
35Frank W Higgins.jpgFrank W. HigginsJanuary 1, 1905

December 31, 1906
Republican1904Matthew Linn Bruce
John Raines
36Charles Evans Hughes cph.3b15401.jpgCharles Evans HughesJanuary 1, 1907

October 6, 1910
Republican1906Lewis Stuyvesant Chanler
Horace White
37Horace White.jpgHorace WhiteOctober 6, 1910

December 31, 1910
RepublicanGeorge H. Cobb
38John Alden Dix LOC.jpgJohn Alden DixJanuary 1, 1911

December 31, 1912
Democratic1910Thomas F. Conway
39SulzerTheBroadAx.PNGWilliam SulzerJanuary 1, 1913

October 17, 1913
Martin H. Glynn
40Martin H. Glynn.jpgMartin H. GlynnOctober 17, 1913

December 31, 1914
DemocraticRobert F. Wagner
41CharlesSWhitman.jpgCharles Seymour WhitmanJanuary 1, 1915

December 31, 1918
Republican1914Edward Schoeneck
42AlfredSmith.pngAl SmithJanuary 1, 1919

December 31, 1920
Democratic1918Harry C. Walker
43NathanLMiller.jpgNathan L. MillerJanuary 1, 1921

December 31, 1922
Republican1920Jeremiah Wood
Clayton R. Lusk
42AlfredSmith.pngAl SmithJanuary 1, 1923

December 31, 1928
Democratic1922George R. Lunn
1924Seymour Lowman
1926Edwin Corning
44FDR in 1933.jpgFranklin D. RooseveltJanuary 1, 1929

December 31, 1932
Democratic1928Herbert H. Lehman
45Herbert Lehman.jpgHerbert H. LehmanJanuary 1, 1933

December 3, 1942
Democratic1932M. William Bray
Charles Poletti
46Charles Poletti.jpgCharles PolettiDecember 3, 1942

December 31, 1942
DemocraticJoe R. Hanley
47ThomasDewey.pngThomas E. DeweyJanuary 1, 1943

December 31, 1954
Republican1942Thomas W. Wallace
1946Joe R. Hanley
1950Frank C. Moore
Arthur H. Wicks
Walter J. Mahoney
48William Averell Harriman.jpgW. Averell HarrimanJanuary 1, 1955

December 31, 1958
Democratic1954George DeLuca
49Nelson Rockefeller.jpgNelson RockefellerJanuary 1, 1959

December 18, 1973
Republican1958Malcolm Wilson
50Malcolm Wilson (Governor of New York).jpgMalcolm WilsonDecember 18, 1973

December 31, 1974
RepublicanWarren M. Anderson
51Hugh Carey - 1977 NFTA Report.jpgHugh CareyJanuary 1, 1975

December 31, 1982
Democratic1974Mary Anne Krupsak
1978Mario Cuomo
52Governor Mario Cuomo of NY in 1987 color (cropped).jpgMario CuomoJanuary 1, 1983

December 31, 1994
Democratic1982Alfred DelBello
Warren M. Anderson
1986Stan Lundine
53Pataki cropped.JPGGeorge PatakiJanuary 1, 1995

December 31, 2006
Republican1994Betsy McCaughey Ross[14]
1998Mary Donohue
54Eliot Spitzer.jpgEliot SpitzerJanuary 1, 2007

March 17, 2008
David Paterson
55David Paterson 2 by David Shankbone.jpgDavid PatersonMarch 17, 2008

December 31, 2010
DemocraticJoseph Bruno
Dean Skelos
Malcolm Smith
Pedro Espada Jr.
Richard Ravitch
Malcolm Smith
Richard Ravitch[19]
56Andrew Cuomo 2014.jpgAndrew CuomoJanuary 1, 2011

Democratic2010Robert Duffy
2014Kathy Hochul

Other high offices held

This is a table of congressional and other federal offices, and ranking diplomatic positions to foreign countries held by New York governors. All representatives and senators mentioned represented New York.

* Denotes those offices for which the governor resigned the governorship.† Denotes those offices from which the governor resigned to take the governorship.
GovernorGubernatorial termU.S. CongressOther offices heldSource
George Clinton1777–1795
Delegate to the Continental Congress, Vice President of the United States[38]
John Jay1795–1801President of the Continental Congress, U.S. Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Minister to Spain, Chief Justice of the United States†[39]
Daniel D. Tompkins1807–1817HVice President of the United States*[40]
DeWitt Clinton1817–1822
Nathaniel Pitcher1828H[42]
Martin Van Buren1829S†U.S. Secretary of State*, Minister to the United Kingdom, Vice President of the United States, President of the United States[43]
Enos T. Throop1829–1832H[44]
William L. Marcy1833–1838S†U.S. Secretary of War, U.S. Secretary of State[45]
William H. Seward1839–1842SU.S. Secretary of State[46]
Silas Wright1845–1846HS†[47]
John Young1847–1848H[48]
Hamilton Fish1849–1850HSU.S. Secretary of State[49]
Washington Hunt1851–1852H[50]
John Alsop King1857–1858H[51]
Edwin D. Morgan1859–1862S[52]
Reuben Fenton1865–1868H†S[53]
John Adams Dix1873–1874SMinister to France, U.S. Secretary of the Treasury[54]
Grover Cleveland1883–1885President of the United States*[55]
David B. Hill1885–1891S[56]
Roswell P. Flower1892–1894H[57]
Levi P. Morton1895–1896HMinister to France, Vice President of the United States[58]
Frank S. Black1897–1898H†[59]
Theodore Roosevelt1899–1900Vice President of the United States, President of the United States[60]
Benjamin B. Odell, Jr.1901–1904H[61]
Charles Evans Hughes1907–1910U.S. Secretary of State, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court*, Chief Justice of the United States.
William Sulzer1913H†[62]
Martin H. Glynn1913–1914H[63]
Franklin D. Roosevelt1929–1932President of the United States[64]
Herbert H. Lehman1933–1942S[65]
W. Averell Harriman1955–1958U.S. Secretary of Commerce, Ambassador to the United Kingdom, Ambassador to the Soviet Union[66]
Nelson Rockefeller1959–1973Vice President of the United States[67]
Hugh Carey1975–1982H†[68]
Andrew Cuomo2011—U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development

Living former Governors of New York

As of September 2018, there are three living former Governors of New York, the oldest being George Pataki (served from 1995 to 2006, born 1945). The most recent governor to die was Mario Cuomo (served from 1983 to 1994, born 1932), on January 1, 2015; he is also the most recently serving governor to have died.

GovernorGubernatorial termDate of birth (and age)
George Pataki1995–2006(1945-06-24)June 24, 1945
Eliot Spitzer2007–2008(1959-06-10)June 10, 1959
David Paterson2008–2010(1954-05-20)May 20, 1954

See also

  • New York gubernatorial elections

  • List of colonial governors of New York


Citation Linkopenlibrary.orgThe state constitutions refer to this position as the "temporary president of the senate".
Sep 29, 2019, 7:02 AM
Citation Linkopenlibrary.orgOn September 22, 2009, the New York Court of Appeals upheld the right of the governor to appoint a lieutenant governor to fill the vacancy.
Sep 29, 2019, 7:02 AM
Citation Linkopenlibrary.orgTompkins resigned to be Vice President of the United States. As lieutenant governor, Tayler acted as governor until a successor was elected.
Sep 29, 2019, 7:02 AM
Citation Linkopenlibrary.orgClinton died in office; as lieutenant governor, Pitcher succeeded him.
Sep 29, 2019, 7:02 AM
Citation Linkopenlibrary.orgVan Buren resigned to be United States Secretary of State; as lieutenant governor, Throop succeeded him.
Sep 29, 2019, 7:02 AM
Citation Linkopenlibrary.orgFirst term under an 1874 amendment to the constitution, which lengthened terms to three years.
Sep 29, 2019, 7:02 AM
Citation Linkopenlibrary.orgCleveland resigned to be President of the United States; as lieutenant governor, Hill succeeded him.
Sep 29, 2019, 7:02 AM
Citation Linkopenlibrary.orgFirst term under the 1894 constitution, which shortened terms to two years.
Sep 29, 2019, 7:02 AM
Citation Linkopenlibrary.orgHughes resigned to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States; as lieutenant governor, White succeeded him.
Sep 29, 2019, 7:02 AM
Citation Linkopenlibrary.orgSulzer was impeached and removed from office for campaign contribution fraud; as lieutenant governor, Glynn succeeded him.
Sep 29, 2019, 7:02 AM
Citation Linkopenlibrary.orgFirst term under the 1938 constitution, which lengthened terms to four years.
Sep 29, 2019, 7:02 AM
Citation Linkopenlibrary.orgLehman resigned to be Director of Foreign Relief and Rehabilitation Operations at the U.S. Department of State; as lieutenant governor, Poletti succeeded him.
Sep 29, 2019, 7:02 AM
Citation Linkopenlibrary.orgRockefeller resigned to devote himself to his Commission on Critical Choices for Americans; as lieutenant governor, Wilson succeeded him.
Sep 29, 2019, 7:02 AM
Citation Linkopenlibrary.orgElected as Betsy McCaughey, but married and changed name in 1995.
Sep 29, 2019, 7:02 AM
Citation Linkopenlibrary.orgSpitzer resigned due to a prostitution scandal; as lieutenant governor, Paterson succeeded him.
Sep 29, 2019, 7:02 AM
Citation Linkopenlibrary.orgEspada was a Democrat, but combined with the Republicans in a change of leadership which triggered the 2009 New York State Senate leadership crisis.
Sep 29, 2019, 7:02 AM
Citation Linkopenlibrary.orgRavitch was appointed on July 8, 2009, but the appointment was contested in the courts. On August 20, the Appellate Division rejected the appointment, and Ravitch vacated the office.
Sep 29, 2019, 7:02 AM
Citation Linkopenlibrary.orgSmith succeeded Espada on July 9 as temporary President of the New York State Senate, and claimed to be Acting Lieutenant Governor under the provisions of the New York State Constitution while the appointment of Ravitch was contested.
Sep 29, 2019, 7:02 AM
Citation Linkopenlibrary.orgOn September 22, the New York Court of Appeals reversed the Appellate Division's ruling, and thus re-instated Ravitch to the lieutenant governorship, beginning on July 8.
Sep 29, 2019, 7:02 AM
Citation Linkopenlibrary.orgCuomo's third term began January 1, 2019, and will expire December 31, 2022.
Sep 29, 2019, 7:02 AM