Paterson is known as the "Silk City" for its dominant role in silk production during the latter half of the 19th century. It has since evolved into a major destination for Hispanic immigrants as well as for immigrants from Bangladesh, India, South Asia, and the Arab and Muslim world. Paterson has the second-largest Muslim population in the United States by percentage.
Architect, engineer, and city planner Pierre (Peter) Charles L'Enfant (1754–1825), who had earlier developed the initial plans for Washington, D.C., was the first planner for the S.U.M. project. His plan proposed to harness the power of the Great Falls through a channel in the rock and an aqueduct. The society's directors felt he was taking too long and was over budget, and he was replaced by Peter Colt, who used a less complicated reservoir system to get the water flowing to factories in 1794. Eventually, Colt's system developed some problems and a scheme resembling L'Enfant's original plan was used after 1846.
Paterson was originally formed as a township from portions of Acquackanonk Township on April 11, 1831, while the area was still part of Essex County. It became part of the newly created Passaic County on February 7, 1837, and was incorporated as a city on April 14, 1851, based on the results of a referendum held that day. The city was reincorporated on March 14, 1861.
A view of Paterson c. 1880
Part of the central business district of Paterson, at the intersection of Market and Main streets, 1911
The industries developed in Paterson were powered by the 77-foot-high Great Falls and a system of water raceways that harnessed the falls' power, providing power for the mills in the area until 1914 and fostering the growth of the city around them. The district originally included dozens of mill buildings and other manufacturing structures associated with the textile industry and, later, the firearms, silk, and railroad locomotive manufacturing industries. In the latter half of the 19th century, silk production became the dominant industry and formed the basis of Paterson's most prosperous period, earning it the nickname "Silk City."
Behind Newark and New York, the brewing industry was booming in Paterson in the late 1800s. Braun Brewery, Sprattler & Mennell, Graham Brewery, The Katz Brothers, and Burton Brewery merged in 1890 to form Paterson Consolidated Brewing Company. Hinchliffe Brewing and Malting Company, founded in 1861, produced 75,000 barrels a year from its state-of-the-art facility at 63 Governor Street. All the breweries closed after Prohibition.
The city was a mecca for immigrant laborers, who worked in its factories, particularly Italian weavers from the Naples region. Paterson was the site of historic labor unrest that focused on anti-child labor legislation, and the six-month-long Paterson silk strike of 1913 that demanded the eight-hour day and better working conditions. It was defeated by the employers, with workers forced to return under pre-strike conditions. Factory workers labored long hours for low wages under dangerous conditions and lived in crowded tenement buildings around the mills. The factories then moved to the South, where there were no labor unions, and still later moved overseas.
In 1919, Paterson was one of eight locations bombed by self-identified anarchists.
A Hooverville for the unemployed on the outskirts of Paterson, 1937
During World War II Paterson played an important part in the aircraft engine industry, but by the end of the war urban areas were in decline and Paterson was no exception. Since the late 1960s the city has suffered high unemployment rates and white flight.
Competition from malls in upscale neighboring towns like Wayne and Paramus have forced the big chain stores out of Paterson's downtown. The biggest industries are now small businesses, with the decline of the city's industrial base. But the city still attracts many immigrants, who have revived its economy, especially through small businesses.
The downtown area has been struck by massive fires several times, most recently on January 17, 1991. In this fire nearly a whole city block (bordered on the north and south by Main Street and Washington Street and on the east and west by Ellison Street and College Boulevard, a stretch of Van Houten Street dominated by Passaic County Community College) was engulfed in flames due to an electrical fire in the basement of a bar at 161 Main Street and spread to other buildings. Firefighter John A. Nicosia, 28, of Engine 4 went missing in the fire, having gotten lost in the basement. His body was recovered two days later. A plaque honoring his memory was later placed on a wall near the area. The area was so badly damaged that most of the burned buildings were demolished, with an outdoor mall standing in their place. The most notable of the destroyed buildings was the Meyer Brothers department store, which closed in 1987 and had since been parceled out.
In August 2011, Paterson was severely affected in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene, particularly by flooding of the Passaic River, where waters rose to levels unseen for 100 years, leading to the displacement of thousands and the closure of bridges over the river. Touring the area with Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Craig Fugate, U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano declared, "This is as bad as I've seen, and I've been in eight states that have been impacted by Irene." The same day, President Obama declared New Jersey a disaster area, and announced that he would visit the city.
Road map of Passaic County, with Paterson, showing rivers and lakes around towns
Paterson is at the bottom part of Passaic County, which is near the north edge of New Jersey, as a county that spans some hilly areas and has dozens of lakes. The county covers a region about 30 × 20 miles wide (48 × 32 km). The region is split by major roads, including portions of Interstate 80, which runs through Paterson (see map at left). The Garden State Parkway (GSP) cuts across the south of Paterson, near Clifton, New Jersey. The Passaic River winds northeast past Totowa into Paterson, where the river then turns south to Passaic town, on the way to Newark, further south.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city had a total area of 8.71 square miles (22.55 km2), including 8.41 square miles (21.79 km2) of land and 0.29 square miles (0.76 km2) of water (3.38%).
Paterson's skyline, showing the canyon of the Passaic River in the foreground. The area along the river was formerly the site of most of the mills that flourished throughout Paterson's history.
The Great Falls Historic District is the most famous neighborhood in Paterson because of the landmark Great Falls of the Passaic River. The city has attempted to revitalize the area in recent years, including the installation of period lamp posts and the conversion of old industrial buildings into apartments and retail venues. Many artists live in this section of Paterson. A major redevelopment project is planned for this district in the coming years. The Paterson Museum of Industrial History at Rogers Locomotive and Machine Works is situated in the Historic District.
Downtown Paterson is the main commercial district of the city and was once a shopping destination for many who lived in northern New Jersey. After a devastating fire in 1902, the city rebuilt the downtown with massive Beaux-Arts-style buildings, many of which remain to this day. These buildings are usually four to seven stories tall. Downtown Paterson is home to Paterson City Hall and the Passaic County Courthouse Annex, two of the city's architectural landmarks. City Hall was designed by the New York firm Carrere and Hastings in 1894, and was modeled after the Hôtel de Ville (city hall) in Lyon, France, capital of the silk industry in Europe.
The former Orpheum Theatre located on Van Houten Street has been converted to a mosque by the Islamic Foundation of New Jersey. The massive structure, now known as Masjid Jalalabad, can accommodate 1,500 worshipers.
As with many other old downtown districts in the United States, Downtown Paterson suffered as shoppers and retailers moved to the suburban shopping malls of the region. Many historic buildings are in disrepair or are abandoned after years of neglect. In addition, Downtown Paterson is an Urban Enterprise Zone. The city has, in recent years, begun initiatives in hopes of reviving the downtown area with the centerpiece being the Center City Mall, constructed on a large parking lot spanning Ward Street from Main to Church Streets and features retail, entertainment, and commercial space. Downtown Paterson is located in the city's 1st Ward.
Eastside Park Historic District consists of about 1,000 homes in a variety of architectural styles, including Tudors, Georgian colonials, Victorians, Italianate villas and Dutch colonials. It is located east of downtown. Once the home of the city's industrial and political leaders, the neighborhood experienced a significant downturn as industry fled Paterson. In recent years, gentrification has begun to occur in the neighborhood and some of the area's historic houses have been restored.
The Eastside Park Historic District is a state and nationally registered historic place. The jewel of the neighborhood is Eastside Park and the mansions that surround it. This section of Paterson once had a large Jewish population that reached 40,000 at its peak; a synagogue still remains. Eastside Park and what is commonly known as the Upper Eastside are located in Paterson's 3rd Ward.
East River Section is a section that is referred to by locals roughly bordering Riverside at 5th Avenue and extending south to Broadway, sandwiched in by Madison Avenue to McClean Boulevard (Route 20). However, the neighborhood's layout unofficially extends to the "Paterson-Newark/Hudson Route" of River Road in the Paterson-Memorial Park section of Fair Lawn whose house addresses are in alignment with the now-defunct Jewish synagogue on the corner of 33rd Street and Broadway, which connects Paterson to Newark/Hudson, and at one time was the main route through River Drive, which starts in Elmwood Park and rides north to south along the East Bank of the Passaic River in Paterson's original county.
Built when Paterson was still Bergen County, River Drive changes to River Road in the greater Eastside Sections of Upper Eastside-Manor Section, East River, and Riverside Sections, and turns into Wagaraw Road north of 1st Avenue / Maple Avenue in the old Bunker Hill extension of Columbia Heights in Fair Lawn an indication of not only entering the Industrial Section but also entering the foothills of the Ramapo Mountains in Hawthorne.
River Drive then turns into East Main Street to indicate that you have entered the Northside Section. The East River neighborhood which was and still maintains its "blue-collar" working-class identity, was at one time known for its large Jewish community, as well as a Neapolitan/Italian population and more recently other Mediterranean and Adriatic Europeans, Caribbean and South Americans, and other modern immigrant groups from all over the world, as well as African-Americans.
Manor Section is a residential neighborhood in Paterson. It is located east of East 33rd Street, north of Broadway, and south-west of Route 20 and the Passaic River. The Manor section of Paterson is located in the city's 3rd Ward. The layout and culture of the Manor Section also extends into the neighboring Lyncrest and Rivercrest sections of Fair Lawn, with all the addresses aligning themselves to the now-defunct Jewish Temple, located at the corner of 33rd and Broadway.
South Paterson, also known as Little Istanbul or Little Ramallah, is a diverse neighborhood with a growing number of immigrants from the Middle East, with significant Arab and Turkish communities. The neighborhood is located in the 6th Ward, east of Main Street and west of West Railway Avenue. A majority of the city's Arabs live in this section of Paterson. Many of the retail shops and restaurants cater to this community. The neighborhood is characterized by Halal meat markets which offer goat and lamb, and shop signs are in Arabic. South Paterson's Arab community is mostly made up of Jordanians, Palestinians,Syrians, and Lebanese.
Lakeview is situated in the southern part of the city, and is a middle class neighborhood. Interstate 80 runs north of this district. Lakeview is home to the Paterson Farmers Market, where many people from across North Jersey come to buy fresh produce. The neighborhood is roughly 65% Hispanic, although this neighborhood also has sizable European, Middle-Eastern, African-American, and Asian populations, including a significant Filipino presence. Lakeview also shares some of the same characteristics as neighboring Clifton as they both share a neighborhood bearing the same name. The Lakeview section of Paterson is located in the city's 6th Ward.
Hillcrest is a largely residential, middle classenclave, to the west of the downtown area. Its borders' limits are Preakness Avenue to the east, Cumberland Avenue to the west, and Totowa Avenue along with West Side Park and the Passaic River to the south. Hillcrest is one of Paterson's most desirable neighborhoods. The Hillcrest section of Paterson is located in the city's 2nd Ward.
People's Park is a neighborhood located north of 23rd Avenue and south of Market Street. Twenty-First Avenue, or "La Veinte y uno", as it is known by most of Paterson's Spanish-speaking community, is located in the People's Park section of Paterson. It is an active and vibrant retail strip featuring a variety of shops and services catering to a diverse clientele. Twenty-First Avenue used to have a large Italian population. Although there is still a significant Italian presence left in the neighborhood, it also has a large first-generation Hispanic population, particularly Colombian.
House in Paterson's inner city, 1974. Photo by Danny Lyon.
Wrigley Park is a neighborhood that has suffered from years of poverty, crime, and neglect. It is mostly African-American. Poverty, crime, open-air drug markets, prostitution, vacant lots, and boarded-up windows are all common in this area. However, new houses are being built, and crime has dropped in recent years. This neighborhood is located north of Broadway. It is also known as the '4th Ward'.
Sandy Hill is a neighborhood in the Eastside located roughly west of Madison Avenue, north of 21st Avenue, south of Park Avenue, and east of Straight Street. Due to Paterson's significant population turn-over, this neighborhood is now home to a large and growing Hispanic community, mostly first-generation Dominicans. The Sandy Hill section of Paterson is located in the city's 5th Ward. Roberto Clemente Park, which was originally known as Sandy Hill Park, is located in this neighborhood.
Part of the 5th Ward is called Near Eastside by residents to differentiate it from the Eastside Park Historic District to its immediate east.
Northside, located north of Downtown, suffers from many of the social problems facing the Wrigley Park neighborhood, but to a lesser extent. This neighborhood borders the boroughs of Haledon and Prospect Park and is known for its hills and sweeping views of the New York City skyline. The Northside section of Paterson is located in the city's 1st Ward.
Totowa section is a large neighborhood located west of the Passaic River, south-west of West Broadway and north-east of Preakness Avenue. As the name implies, it borders the town of Totowa. It is mostly Hispanic but with an increasing South Asian community, mainly Bangladeshi. Many Bengali grocery and clothing stores are located on Union Avenue and the surrounding streets. Masjid Al-Ferdous is located on Union Avenue, which accommodates the daily Bangladeshi pedestrian population.
A large Italian presence remains in this neighborhood. Many Peruvian and other Latin American restaurants and businesses are located on Union Avenue. Colonial Village and Brooks Sloate Terraces are located in this neighborhood. The Totowa Section is located in parts of the 1st and 2nd Wards of Paterson.
Stoney Road is Paterson's most south-west neighborhood, bordering Woodland Park to the south and Totowa across the Passaic River to the west. This neighborhood is home to Pennington Park, Hayden Heights, Lou Costello Pool, the Levine reservoir, Murray Avenue, Mc Bride Avenue, and Garret Heights. A strong Italian presence remains in this neighborhood. The Stoney Road section of Paterson is located in the city's 2nd Ward.
Riverside is a larger neighborhood in Paterson and, as its name suggests, is bound by the Passaic River to the north and east, separating the city from Hawthorne and Fair Lawn. Riverside is a working-class neighborhood. The neighborhood is mostly residential with some industrial uses. Madison Avenue cuts through the heart of this district. Route 20 runs through the eastern border of Riverside, providing an easy commute to Route 80 East and New York City. This section is ethnically diverse with a growing Hispanic community concentrating mostly north and along River Street. Many Albanians make their home in the East 18th Street and River Street areas. River View Terrace is located in this neighborhood. Riverside is located in parts of the 3rd and 4th Wards of Paterson.
Bunker Hill is a mostly industrial area west of River Street and east of the Passaic River.
Westside Park located off Totowa Avenue and best known as the site of the Holland submarine, Fenian Ram, which was built from 1879 to 1881 for the Fenian Brotherhood. It became the target of graffiti artists because the fence surrounding it was too low and too close to the submarine itself. The sub is now located in Paterson Museum.
The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally cool to cold winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Paterson has a humid continental climate, abbreviated "Dfa" on climate maps. Despite the size of the city, it has no weather reporting station, and thus, no historic climate data. Paterson uses Newark's airport for its local weather.
Demographic surveys and census data find Paterson has the highest percentage of disabled persons of any city with more than 100,000 residents, with about 30% of males and 29% of females not classified as poor listed as having a disability.
Of the 44,329 households, 38.7% had children under the age of 18; 35.4% were married couples living together; 29.5% had a female householder with no husband present and 26.2% were non-families. Of all households, 21.0% were made up of individuals and 7.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.24 and the average family size was 3.71.
27.9% of the population were under the age of 18, 11.4% from 18 to 24, 29.0% from 25 to 44, 22.9% from 45 to 64, and 8.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32.1 years. For every 100 females, the population had 93.6 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and older there were 89.9 males.
The Census Bureau's 2006–2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $34,086 (with a margin of error of ±$1,705) and the median family income was $39,003 (±$2,408). Males had a median income of $30,811 (±$825) versus $28,459 (±$1,570) for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,543 (±$467). About 24.1% of families and 26.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 39.0% of those under age 18 and 25.4% of those age 65 or over.
As of the 2000 United States Census there were 149,222 people, 44,710 households, and 33,353 families residing in the city, for a population density of 17,675.4 per square mile (6,826.4/km2). Among cities with a population higher than 100,000, Paterson was the second most densely populated large city in the United States, only after New York City.
There were 44,710 households, out of which 40.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.4% were married couples living together, 26.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.4% were non-families. 20.4% of all households were made up of individuals, and 7.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.25 and the average family size was 3.71.
In the city, the population was spread out, with 29.8% under the age of 18, 11.2% from 18 to 24, 32.0% from 25 to 44, 18.7% from 45 to 64, and 8.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 30 years. For every 100 females, there were 94.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.1 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $30,127, and the median income for a family was $32,983. Males had a median income of $27,911 versus $21,733 for females. The per capita income for the city was $13,257. About 19.2% of families and 22.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 29.0% of those under age 18 and 19.4% of those age 65 or over.
A map showing the diversity of Paterson's population, 2010
Western Market Street, sometimes called Little Lima by tourists, is home to many Peruvian and other Latin-American businesses. In contrast, if one travels east on Market Street, a heavy concentration of Dominican-owned restaurants, beauty salons, barbershops, and other businesses can be seen. The Great Falls Historic District, Cianci Street, Union Avenue, and 21st Avenue have several Italian businesses. To the north of the Great Falls is a fast-growing Bangladeshi population. Park Avenue and Market Street between Straight Street and Madison Avenue are heavily Dominican and Puerto Rican.
Main Street, just south of downtown, is heavily Mexican with a resurgent Puerto Rican community. Broadway, also called Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Way, is significantly black, as are the Fourth Ward and parts of Eastside and Northside, although Paterson's African American population is declining.Costa Ricans and other Central American immigrant communities are growing in the Riverside and Peoples Park neighborhoods. Main Street between the Clifton border and Madison Avenue is heavily Turkish and Arab. 21st Avenue in the People's Park section is characterized by Colombian and other Latin American restaurants and shops.
Every summer, Patersonians conduct an African-American Day Parade, a Dominican Day Parade, a Puerto Rican Day Parade, a Peruvian Day Parade, and a Turkish-American Day Parade; budget cuts in 2011 have forced parade organizers to contribute to cover the costs of police and other municipal services.
Paterson is widely considered the capital of the Peruviandiaspora in the U.S.Little Lima, a Peruvian enclave in Downtown Paterson, is the largest Peruvian enclave outside of South America, home to approximately 10,000 Peruvian immigrants. Paterson has named an area bordered by Mill, Market, Main, and Cianci streets "Peru Square". Paterson's rapidly growing Peruvian community celebrates what is known as Señor de los Milagros ("Our Lord of Miracles" in English) on October 18 through 28th each year and every July participates in the annual Passaic County Peruvian Day Parade, which passes through Market Street and Main Street in the Little Lima neighborhood of Downtown Paterson. In the 2000 Census, 4.72% of residents listed themselves as being of Peruvian American ancestry, the third-highest percentage of the population of any municipality in New Jersey and the United States, behind East Newark with 10.1% and Harrison with 7.01%. The community includes both Quechua and Spanish speakers.
Paterson is home to the third-largest Dominican-American Community in the United States, after New York City and Lawrence, Massachusetts. In the 2000 Census, 10.27% of residents listed themselves as being of Dominican American ancestry, the eighth highest percentage of the population of any municipality in the United States and the third-highest percentage in New Jersey, behind Perth Amboy's 18.81% and Union City's 11.46%. Paterson renamed a section of Park Avenue in Sandy Hill to Dominican Republic Way to recognize the Dominican community, which is the largest Hispanic community in the city.
Paterson has incorporated a rapidly growing Bangladeshi American community, which is estimated to number 15,000, the largest in the United States outside New York City. Mohammed Akhtaruzzaman was ultimately certified as the winner of the 2012 city council race in the Second Ward, making him North Jersey's first Bangladeshi-American elected official.
A branch of the Sonali Exchange Company Inc. has opened on Union Avenue in the Totowa section of town (not to be confused with the Passaic County municipality Totowa); the Sonali Exchange Company is a subsidiary of Sonali Bank, the largest state-owned commercial bank in Bangladesh.
Portions of the city are part of an Urban Enterprise Zone (UEZ), one of 32 zones covering 37 municipalities statewide. The city was selected in 1994 as one of a group of 10 zones added to participate in the program. In addition to other benefits to encourage employment within the UEZ, shoppers can take advantage of a reduced 3.3125% sales tax rate (half of the 6+5⁄8% rate charged statewide) at eligible merchants. Established in September 1994, the city's Urban Enterprise Zone status expires in September 2025. The UEZ program plays a pivotal role in the city's economic revitalization.
Arts and culture
Paterson has a significant parks and recreation system, including larger areas such as Eastside, Westside, and Pennington Parks, as well as neighborhood parks such as Wrigley, Robert Clemente, and People's. The Great Falls of the Passaic are part of the national park system.
The Paterson Museum, in the Great Falls Historic District, was founded in 1925 and is owned and operated by the city of Paterson. Its mission is to preserve and display the industrial history of the city. Since 1982, the museum has been housed in the Thomas Rogers Building on Market Street, the former erecting shop of Rogers Locomotive and Machine Works, a major 19th-century manufacturer of railroad steam locomotives.
Belle Vista, locally known as Lambert Castle, was built in 1892 as the home of Catholina Lambert, the self-made owner of a prominent silk mill in Paterson. After Lambert's death in 1923, his family sold the building to the city, which in turn sold it to the County of Passaic a few years later. The county used the building for administrative offices, and in 1936, provided one room to the fledgling Passaic County Historical Society to serve as its historical museum. As time went by the museum grew, room by room until the entire first floor became the historical museum.
In the late 1990s, the Castle underwent a multi-million-dollar restoration and all four floors of the building were developed into a museum and library. Today, Passaic County remains the owner of the building and supports the facilities' operation; however, the Passaic County Historical Society is solely responsible for the operation and management of Lambert Castle Museum with its historical period rooms, long-term and changing exhibition galleries, educational programs for elementary and middle-school students, and research library/archive.
Above Lambert Castle stands a 75-foot (23 m) observation tower, located at the peak of Garret Mountain, which while technically standing in Woodland Park, was constructed when the property was considered part of Paterson. The tower is part of the Garret Mountain Reservation and renovations were completed in 2009 to restore the tower to the original condition as built in 1896 by Lambert, who used the tower to impress guests with its view of the New York City skyline.
Attempts were being made to fund the restoration of the Paterson Armory as a recreation and cultural center, but the building was destroyed by fire before these could bear fruit.
The City of Paterson operates within the Faulkner Act, formally known as the Optional Municipal Charter Law, under a Plan-D Mayor-Council form of government, which was adopted in 1974 in a change from a 1907 statute-based form. The city is one of 71 municipalities (of the 565) statewide that use this form.
Under the Mayor-Council plan, the Mayor is the chief executive and is responsible for administering the City's activities. The Mayor is elected at-large for a four-year term by the citizens and is responsible for them. The mayor enforces the charter and the ordinances and laws passed by the City Council. The Mayor appoints all department heads including the business administrator, with the advice and consent of the Council and may remove any department heads after giving them notice and an opportunity to be heard. With the assistance of the business administrator, the Mayor is responsible for the preparation of the municipal budget. The Mayor submits the budget to the Council along with a detailed analysis of expenditures and revenues. The Council may reduce any item or items in the budget by a majority vote, but can only increase an item by a two-thirds vote.
The City Council is comprised of nine members. Of these, six are elected through the use of the ward system, where candidates run to represent a certain area of the city. The other three seats are elected using the at-large system, where each candidate is voted upon by the entire voting population of the city. Municipal elections are held in even-numbered years, are non-partisan, and take place in early May. The six members of the City Council representing their wards are elected in the same years as presidential elections, while the mayoral election and the at-large Council elections are held in the same years as the mid-term Congressional elections.
As of 2020[update], the Mayor of Paterson is Andre Sayegh, whose term of office ends June 30, 2022. The previous mayor was Jane Williams-Warren, who was serving on an interim basis following the resignation of José "Joey" Torres. Torres was in his third non-consecutive term as Mayor of Paterson, having first been elected by defeating incumbent Martin G. Barnes in 2002 and then winning re-election in 2006 against Lawrence Spagnola. After losing his bid for a third consecutive term by a margin of 600 votes to City Council President Jeffery Jones in 2010, Torres defeated Jones in a rematch four years later. Torres pleaded guilty to corruption charges in September 2017 that required him to leave office and to serve a prison term of five years. According to city law, the President of the City Council is the next in line to succeed a Mayor who is removed from office for any reason and serves as Acting Mayor until the next election, unless the Council appoints someone else to fill the post within 30 days of the creation of the vacancy. City Council President Ruby Cotton immediately became Mayor upon Torres' resignation
 and served until September 29, when the council voted 5–4 to appoint Williams-Warren, a former city clerk, as interim mayor until the May 2018 municipal election.
Members of the City Council are Council President Maritza Davila (at-large; 2022), Council Vice President Michael Jackson (First Ward; 2020), Alaa "Al" Abdelaziz (Sixth Ward; 2020 - elected to serve an unexpired term), Ruby N. Cotton (Fourth Ward; 2020), Shahin Khalique (Second Ward; 2020), William McKoy (Third Ward; 2020), Dr. Lilisa Mimms (at-large; 2022), Flavio Rivera (at-large; 2022) and Luis Velez (Fifth Ward; 2020).
In July 2018, Alaa "Al" Abdelaziz was selected to fill the Sixth Ward seat expiring in June 2020 that had been held by Andre Sayegh until he stepped down to take office as mayor. In the November 2018 general election, Abdelaziz was elected to serve the balance of the term of office.
In 2018, the city had an average property tax bill of $8,087, the lowest in the county, compared to an average bill of $10,005 in Passaic County and $8,767 statewide.
The 2020 election for Paterson's Third Ward city council was invalidated after allegations of voter fraud vote-by-mail. More than 24% of ballots failed to meet the standard for mail-in ballots. This result was used by Trump's campaign and the Republican National Committee to file a lawsuit against universal vote-by-mail order from Governor Phil Murphy.
As of March 23, 2011, there were a total of 68,324 registered voters in Paterson, of which 27,926 (40.9% vs. 31.0% countywide) were registered as Democrats, 3,100 (4.5% vs. 18.7%) were registered as Republicans and 37,285 (54.6% vs. 50.3%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There were 13 voters registered to other parties. Among the city's 2010 Census population, 46.7% (vs. 53.2% in Passaic County) were registered to vote, including 64.8% of those ages 18 and over (vs. 70.8% countywide).
In the 2012 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 93.6% of the vote (41,662 cast), ahead of Republican Mitt Romney with 6.1% (2,696 votes), and other candidates with 0.3% (152 votes), among the 45,050 ballots cast by the city's 78,194 registered voters (540 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 57.6%. In the 2008 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 38,085 votes (86.7% vs. 58.8% countywide), ahead of Republican John McCain with 4,098 votes (9.3% vs. 37.7%) and other candidates with 150 votes (0.3% vs. 0.8%), among the 43,946 ballots cast by the city's 70,925 registered voters, for a turnout of 62.0% (vs. 70.4% in Passaic County). In the 2004 presidential election, Democrat John Kerry received 28,896 votes (79.2% vs. 53.9% countywide), ahead of Republican George W. Bush with 5,959 votes (16.3% vs. 42.7%) and other candidates with 151 votes (0.4% vs. 0.7%), among the 36,470 ballots cast by the city's 64,151 registered voters, for a turnout of 56.9% (vs. 69.3% in the whole county).
In the 2013 gubernatorial election, Democrat Barbara Buono received 78.5% of the vote (15,726 cast), ahead of Republican Chris Christie with 20.6% (4,123 votes), and other candidates with 0.9% (179 votes), among the 20,787 ballots cast by the city's 80,140 registered voters (759 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 25.9%. In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Democrat Jon Corzine received 17,334 ballots cast (85.7% vs. 50.8% countywide), ahead of Republican Chris Christie with 2,213 votes (10.9% vs. 43.2%), Independent Chris Daggett with 264 votes (1.3% vs. 3.8%) and other candidates with 129 votes (0.6% vs. 0.9%), among the 20,233 ballots cast by the city's 66,603 registered voters, yielding a 30.4% turnout (vs. 42.7% in the county).
The Paterson Fire Department, headed by Chief Brian McDermott, operates out of seven fire stations with a total of 400 employees and is also responsible for the city's emergency medical services division and ambulance units. The department is part of the Metro USAR Strike Team, which consists of nine North Jersey fire departments and other emergency services divisions working to address major emergency rescue situations.
In addition to local services, Paterson is home to the Passaic County Sheriff's Office Courts Division in the Passaic County Courthouse and Correctional Division in the Passaic County Jail. The jail, originally constructed in 1957, can accommodate 1,242 inmate beds.
In April 2011, Paterson laid off 125 police officers, nearly 25% of the total force in the city, due to severe budget constraints caused by a $70 million deficit. At the same time, the Guardian Angels, a New York City-based volunteer citizen safety patrol organization, began operating in Paterson at the invitation of the Mayor.
St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center is a large institution providing comprehensive emergency services as well as non-emergency medical care to Paterson and the surrounding community.
I-80 eastbound in Paterson
Roads and highways
As of May 2010[update], the city had a total of 195.28 miles (314.27 km) of roadways, of which 157.62 miles (253.66 km) were maintained by the municipality, 29.21 miles (47.01 km) by Passaic County and 8.45 miles (13.60 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation.
Paterson also served as the terminus for numerous major secondary roads in northern New Jersey. Paterson Plank Road linked the city to Jersey City and eventually, the Hudson River waterfront in Hoboken, while the Paterson-Hamburg Turnpike connected the city with Sussex County along what is now parts of State Route 23.
Private, independent jitney buses (guaguas or dollar vans) connect Paterson with neighboring communities along Route 4 and provide transportation to and from the Port Authority Bus Terminal and George Washington Bridge Bus Station in Manhattan. These buses run at high frequency but do not have formal, published schedules.
As of the 2018–19 school year, the district, comprised of 51 schools, had an enrollment of 27,601 students and 2,053.5 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 13.4:1. District enrollment in Paterson surged at the start of the 2015–16 school year, creating a public school enrollment of 700 students higher than expected and putting the school district in a situation of needing to hire teachers rapidly not long after the district had laid off 300 positions.
In 2011, all of Paterson's high schools were changed to theme schools, as part of a goal to give students a better choice in areas they wanted to pursue. Among the 594 students who took the SAT in 2013, the mean combined score was 1120 and there were 19 students (3.2% of those taking the exam) who achieved the combined score of 1550 that the College Board considers an indicator of college readiness, a decline from the 26 students (4.3%) who achieved the standard the previous year.
Paterson Charter School for Science and Technology is a charter school serving students in kindergarten through twelfth grade. Other charter schools include Community Charter School of Paterson (K–8), John P. Holland Charter School (K–8) and Paterson Arts and Science Charter School (K–7).
The city is host to the state's annual robotics competition held at Passaic County Community College. The North Jersey Robotics Competition was created to place high educational merit on the students of Paterson. The competition draws schools from around New Jersey. Three events make up the meet which takes place on two different days. The competition's tenth-anniversary event in 2011 was won by Paterson's Panther Academy.
There is a pact of friendship with the town of Montescaglioso (Matera, Basilicata, Italy), as testified by mutual naming of two streets in their city centers. Paterson was a place of Italian emigration in the late nineteenth century and today houses a large community of citizens of Montescaglioso who emigrated in those years.
The Great Falls were featured in the first season of the HBO crime drama The Sopranos, both in the pilot and in the episode Pax Soprana as the place where Junior Soprano's friend's grandson committed suicide after taking poor designer drugs; as a favor, Junior Soprano had Mikey Palmice and another individual toss the dealer, Rusty Irish, off the bridge over the falls. Other locations throughout the city were used in the series, as much of the show was shot on location in North Jersey.
The first steam-powered and first electric-powered model trains were both invented in Paterson. Eugene Beggs made the first steam-powered train in the city around 1871. Beggs' employee, Jehu Garlick, invented the first electric-powered model train that consisted of a tinplate toy locomotive with four aluminum wheels. "Toy World", which highlights the history of New Jersey's toy-making industry at the New Jersey State Museum, prominently featured Paterson's contribution to the history of toys.
^Paterson, New Jersey:America's Silk City, National Park Service. Accessed April 18, 2012. "These mills manufactured many things during the long history of this industrial city—cotton textiles, steam locomotives, Colt revolvers, and aircraft engines. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, they produced silk fabrics in such quantities that Paterson was known as 'Silk City.'"
^Get to Know PatersonArchived July 1, 2012, at the Wayback Machine, Merchants & Businesses of Downtown Paterson. Accessed August 16, 2012. "Today, the city's growth and economy has been boosted by immigrants who still migrate to Paterson for the small business opportunities."
^Last Alarm, Paterson Fire Journal, June 21, 2008. Accessed August 5, 2014.
^Jackson, Herb. "Paterson prepares for President Obama's visit today"Archived October 1, 2012, at the Wayback Machine, The Record, September 4, 2011. Accessed September 4, 2011. "Details are being tightly guarded about where President Obama will go Sunday when he visits Paterson to see the damage wrought by Hurricane Irene. Only Obama's arrival at Newark Liberty International Airport is open to the press. The rest of his travels Sunday afternoon will be watched by a small group of pool reporters."
^ abHarrison, Karen Tina. "Savor City; Paterson, the one-time Silk City, is a Great Falls of ethnic eating.", New Jersey Monthly, July 13, 2019. Accessed November 14, 2020. "Turkish, Syrian, Lebanese, Egyptian, and Palestinian immigrants, among others, share a grand mosque, Masjid Jalalabad, in the renovated, once-endangered 1921 Orpheum Theater. A long stretch of Main Street in the South Paterson neighborhood amounts to a Jersey souk, or market, encompassing all kinds of shops and Middle Eastern eateries."
^Hyman, Vicki. "Colonial mansion restored in Paterson's once- (and again) grand Eastside Park", The Star-Ledger, July 1, 2009. Accessed September 22, 2011. "Smaller but no less spectacular examples of Tudor, Craftsman, Dutch Colonial, Federal, Greek Revival, Spanish and even mid-century modern homes sprang up over the next half-century. Eastside Park at one point was home to as many as 40,000 Jews, but they decamped rapidly to burgeoning suburbs starting in the late 1950s (though Temple Emanuel, the octagonal art deco neighborhood landmark, didn't pull up roots until 2005)."
^ abLoboguerrero, Cristina; translated from Spanish by Carlos Rodríguez-Martorell, Carlos. "Three Hispanic Candidates Vie For Paterson, NJ Mayor", Voices of NY from El Diario La Prensa, May 12, 2014. "Puerto Rican José 'Joey' Torres, who was the mayor from 2002 to 2010, seeks to regain the seat after losing it to Jeffery Jones in the past election. Torres and the current City Council President Andre Sayegh are the main favorites to unseat Jones in the May 13 election. The other Latino candidates are both Dominican: María Teresa Feliciano is a newcomer in politics, and Councilman Rigo Rodríguez was recently charged with electoral fraud."
^Sharkey, Joe. "Finding a Lost Page From a Family History", The New York Times, November 10, 1996. Accessed May 3, 2012. "Blinking back tears, Delores Van Rensalier pushed a shovel into the damp earth in a vacant lot wedged between a Wendy's restaurant and the police and courts complex in downtown Paterson. Beside her, workers were putting up a sign to mark the lot as the location of 'the Huntoon-Van Rensalier Station of the Underground Railroad, 1855–1864.'... Paterson, a prosperous milltown before the Civil War, was a 'station' on the Underground Railroad, the clandestine network of way stations operated by northern abolitionists to help slaves escape to Canada from the South. Huntoon operated his station in partnership with Van Rensalier, whom Ms. Van Rensalier now suspects came here on a slave ship and later assumed the Dutch name as a free man.
^Schectman, Joel; and Patberg, Zach. "Ethnic parades in Paterson likely to be victims of city budget stress", The Record, June 13, 2011. Accessed September 4, 2011. "The Puerto Rican, Dominican and African-American parades, which attracted tens of thousands of people, face shutdown after Mayor Jeffery Jones demanded that organizers pay as much as $100,000 for police and clean up after the event.... Peruvians were set to celebrate their 25th annual parade in Paterson next month. The event has brought in more than 35,000 people from as far away as Florida."
^Staff. "Paterson school district restarts Arab language program for city youths", Paterson Press, December 10, 2014. Accessed December 10, 2014. "City education officials have resumed providing a program that teaches 125 students the Arab language. The district has been offering the program, which is run by the Paterson-based Arab American Civic Association, for more than a decade."
^Yellin, Deena. "More NJ school districts recognize Muslim holidays", The Record, October 22, 2010. Accessed May 29, 2015. "Yet, many New Jersey districts have for years closed schools for Muslim holidays, including Paterson, Atlantic City, Trenton, Cliffside Park, Piscataway, Prospect Park, Plainfield and Irvington."
^Clunn, Nick. "Officials certify election of Akhtaruzzaman to Paterson's 2nd Ward", The Record, November 27, 2012. Accessed August 5, 2014. "Election officials Tuesday certified Mohammed Akhtaruzzaman as the winner of a special City Council race, settling a prolonged political contest that ended with his reclaiming the seat he lost in a court challenge.... It was unclear when Akhtaruzzaman would take office as the representative for the 2nd Ward and reclaim his mantle as the first Bangladeshi-American elected to municipal office in North Jersey."
^Urban Enterprise Zone Tax Questions and Answers, New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, May 2009. Accessed October 28, 2019. "In 1994 the legislation was amended and ten more zones were added to this successful economic development program. Of the ten new zones, six were predetermined: Paterson, Passaic, Perth Amboy, Phillipsburg, Lakewood, Asbury Park/Long Branch (joint zone). The four remaining zones were selected on a competitive basis. They are Carteret, Pleasantville, Union City and Mount Holly."
^About The UEZ Program, City of Paterson. Accessed November 19, 2019. "Today, Paterson retains it's proud history and is making a true 'silk to silicon' transformation. Central to this revitalization is the UEZ Program as it enables retail members to charge 3 1/2% sales tax giving them a competitive edge over other businesses."
^City Council, City of Paterson. Accessed January 14, 2013. "The City of Paterson Municipal Council was created as a result of a 1974 decision to change its form of government from a 1907 statute-based form, to a Faulkner Act Plan-D Mayor-Council Form."
^Malinconcino, Joe; Oglesby, Amanda. "Paterson Mayor Joey Torres pleads guilty to corruption charges", Asbury Park Press, September 24, 2017. Accessed September 24, 2017. "Paterson Mayor Joey Torres, a former Jackson business administrator, pleaded guilty to corruption charges Friday afternoon, despite saying for months after his indictment that he would be vindicated in the courts. The proposed agreement will require Torres, 58, to step down from the mayor’s job and serve prison time up to five years in prison.... Torres will be replaced as mayor on an interim basis by City Council President Ruby Cotton. She will remain in the top job until Paterson’s mayoral election in May 2018, unless her colleagues pick someone else to fill the job during the next 30 days."
^Malinconico, Joe. "Paterson Council picks Williams-Warren, not Ruby Cotton, to be interim mayor until May election", Paterson Press, September 30, 2017. Accessed September 30, 2017. "Retired municipal clerk Jane Williams-Warren will become Paterson’s next mayor on Oct. 10, under decision reached by the City Council late Friday. Williams-Warren will fill the seat that Jose 'Joey' Torres was forced to give up as a result of his conviction on Sept. 22 of corruption charges. The council picked Williams-Warren to serve as interim mayor despite a standing-room-only crowd that jammed City Hall to urge the governing body to keep Councilwoman Ruby Cotton as Paterson’s acting mayor."
^City Council Members, City of Paterson. Accessed May 10, 2020. "The City of Paterson Municipal Council was created as a result of a 1974 decision to change its form of government from a 1907 statute-based form, to a Faulkner Act Plan-D Mayor-Council Form.... The Mayor-Council plan consisted of a Mayor and Nine (9) Council members, Six (6) of the members that sit on the Municipal Council represent the Six Wards of the City. The three (3) remaining members are members At-Large. The Municipal Council has the responsibility of reviewing and approving Municipal legislation. Under the Mayor-Council plan, the Mayor is the chief executive and is responsible for administering the City's activities. The Mayor is elected for a four (4) year term by the citizens and is responsible for them."
^Malinconico, Joe. "Al Abdelaziz becomes Paterson’s new 6th Ward councilman", Paterson Press, July 11, 2018. Accessed March 16, 2020. "In a unanimous vote, the City Council picked the co-chairman of the Paterson Democratic Party on Tuesday night to be the new council member for the 6th Ward. Al Abdelaziz will serve in the position, which became vacant when Andre Sayegh took office as mayor."
^Biography, Congressman Bill Pascrell. Accessed January 3, 2019."A native son of Paterson, N.J., Congressman Bill Pascrell, Jr. has built a life of public service upon the principles he learned while growing up on the south side of the Silk City."
^Biography of Bob Menendez, United States Senate, January 26, 2015. "Menendez, who started his political career in Union City, moved in September from Paramus to one of Harrison's new apartment buildings near the town's PATH station.."
^. United States Senate. Accessed April 30, 2021. "Booker, Cory A. - (D - NJ) Class II; Menendez, Robert - (D - NJ) Class I"
^Passaic County Jail, Passaic County Sheriff's Office. Accessed December 10, 2014. "Originally constructed in 1957, the Passaic County Jail was built to accommodate 227 beds. Over the years, the jail has undergone many changes. The facility now consists of 4 floors and has a 1242 inmate bed capacity."
^Lynn, Kathleen. "Guardian Angels begin Paterson patrols", The Record, April 17, 2011. Accessed September 4, 2011. "Responding to the layoffs of 125 Paterson police officers, the New York City-based Guardian Angels began patrols in the city Sunday. The Guardian Angels arrived in Paterson on Sunday to begin patrolling the city. The 18 Angels, in signature red jackets and berets, were greeted in front of City Hall by Mayor Jeffery Jones, who had invited the volunteer safety patrol organization in February as the city's budget problems deepened."
^Brody, Leslie. "Paterson to split JFK high school into four academies", The Record, March 7, 2011. Accessed November 14, 2011. "Paterson school officials will split the troubled John F. Kennedy High School into four smaller academies so that starting next fall, all public high school students in the city will be enrolled in a 'choice' magnet school."
^Malinconico, Joe. "Latest SAT results: Number of Paterson 'college-ready' students drops to 19", Paterson Press, October 14, 2014. Accessed December 11, 2014. "A report released by the school district last week showed 19 of the 594 Paterson students who took the SATs this year had scores that met the "college-ready" criteria established by the College Board, which conducts the standardized tests."
^Naanes, Marlene. "Paterson Catholic to close by end of school year"Archived May 28, 2010, at the Wayback Machine, The Record, April 21, 2010. Accessed June 21, 2011. "Paterson Catholic Regional High School, which has prided itself for four decades on serving some of the area's poorest and immigrant families, will close its doors the diocese said Wednesday, citing enormous debt, plummeting donations and a bad economy."
^Staff. "Mr. Jones wants Surat as a sister city", Paterson Times, June 28, 2013. Accessed August 25, 2015. "The city has sister city status with a number of municipalities around the world including with Lyon, France; Eskişehir, Turkey; and Yulin, China."
^Staff. "Mr. Jones wants Surat as a sister city", Paterson Times, June 28, 2013. Accessed August 5, 2014. "Jeffery Jones, the mayor of Paterson, during his much lambasted visit to India, has proposed to establish sister city link between the Indian city of Surat, a large diamond cutting town with a population of more than 4 million, and the city of Paterson, according to a local Indian newspaper."
^Twenty-First Avenue: Place of Conjunction, Library of Congress. Accessed August 7, 2013. "Italians from that town found their way to Paterson and settled in the 21st Avenue area earlier in this century. This population increased over the years, at least in part because of the Italian practice of chain migration. The Paterson Montese community was fed by renewed immigration after World War II, from about the mid-1950s to the mid-1970s, when immigration from Italy to the United States slowed considerably as a result of vastly improved economic conditions in Italy."
^Schiller, Kristan. "Kerouac's 'On the Road' And Its Jersey Ties", The New York Times, December 4, 1994. Accessed May 21, 2013. "Kerouac was born and raised in the Merrimack River valley town of Lowell, Mass., and lived in Ozone Park, Queens, with his mother, Gabrielle Ange Levesque Kerouac, when he started writing On the Road. He imagined himself in the story as Salvatore Paradise, a young writer attempting a novel while living with an unnamed aunt in another American city – Paterson, N.J."
^DeLuca, Dan. "No payoff in 'State Property' A street thug aims to hit it big. The movie misses.", The Philadelphia Inquirer, January 19, 2002. Accessed August 16, 2012. "The setting is meant to be Philadelphia, but save for one quick shot of City Hall, State Property never looks the slightest bit familiar. Perhaps that's because it was shot in Paterson, N.J. (According to Abbott's production notes, efforts to film in town were thwarted because 'we could not afford to house everyone in Philly or commute from NYC,' where the Roc-A-Fella posse is headquartered.)"
^Staudter, Thomas. "How Main Street Cafe Got in the Movies", The New York Times, May 26, 1996. Accessed August 16, 2012. "In addition to the Chelsea Pier television and film production studios in Manhattan, other chief locales for The Preacher's Wife include Yonkers, Newark, Jersey City, Paterson, N.J., and Portland, Me."
^Robey, Tim. "Adam Driver's Paterson will be treasured for years – review", The Daily Telegraph, November 24, 2016. Accessed December 6, 2016. "You've beheld Adam Driver as Kylo Ren; now meet Kylo Zen. In Jim Jarmusch's new film Paterson, he plays a guy called Paterson, who happens to live in Paterson, New Jersey, his birthplace, where he drives a bus (number 23) with his surname naturally emblazoned on it."
^Raskin, David A. "Soccer; Acosta Finds His Dreams Close to Home", The New York Times, June 13, 1988. Accessed September 16, 2015. "But Acosta, a Paterson resident, has found more than a team since returning from Long Island University. The 23-year-old has become the leading scorer in the newly formed American Soccer League and is the league's first young player to gain national attention."
^Idec, Keith. "Browns enjoy playing for that other Ryan", The Record, November 14, 2010. Accessed September 4, 2011. "Paterson native Mike Adams couldn't help but laugh when he heard and read about the controversy Jets head coach Rex Ryan caused with his R-rated vocabulary during episodes of HBO's Hard Knocks this summer."
^Adeva, soulwalking.co.uk. Accessed March 13, 2012.
^Newirth, Mike. "Lost on Nelson Algren Avenue", The Baffler, No. 18, 2009. Accessed May 3, 2015. "In 1974, Esquire asked Algren to write an article on Rubin 'Hurricane' Carter, since made famous by Bob Dylan and Denzel Washington; back then, Carter was just another murderer, albeit one railroaded by police misconduct. Algren concluded that Carter and his co-defendant were innocent, and decided to move to Paterson, N.J., to write about them."
^Cannizzaro, Mark. "Carthon & Muir Receive Invites To Stay Aboard", New York Post, January 20, 2001. Accessed May 3, 2015. "One of the offensive coordinators who's believed to be at or near the top of Edwards' list is Colts' quarterbacks coach Bruce Arians, a Paterson, NJ, native who's had a close hand in the development of Peyton Manning."
^2001 Award WinnersArchived November 6, 2015, at the Wayback Machine, New Jersey Inventors hall of Fame. Accessed May 3, 2015. "New Jersey native Gerald R. Ash, who was born in Paterson and lived for many years in West Long Branch, started working for AT&T Bell Laboratories in 1976 as a member of the technical staff."
^Goldrich, Lois. "Barnerts return to Paterson; Reunion will introduce new generation to old city", Jewish Standard, September 28, 2017. Accessed August 11, 2019. "Interestingly, none of the Barnerts on Bill’s email list are direct descendants of Nathan, the larger-than-life figure who came to the United States in 1849, a poor child from Prussia, and established a lucrative silk mill in Paterson. Nathan Barnert won two terms as Paterson’s mayor, and he contributed much of his wealth to establish and support a wide range of charities."
^Staff. "Backstreet Takes Music Higher", Contra Costa Times, August 8, 1997. Accessed March 13, 2012. "Heavy R&B group Blackstreet has reached 'Another Level' with its current album. Led by Chauncey 'Black' Hannibal and Teddy 'Street' Riley, Blackstreet, which performs at Saturday's KMEL Summer Jam at the Concord Pavilion, has expanded its stylistic range, tightened its vocal harmonies, and sought new audiences with its second album, 'Another Level.'... Weary of New York, the ace producer/musician moved his family to Virginia Beach about five years ago; Hannibal, from Paterson, NJ, followed."
^Glenn Borgmann, Baseball Almanac. Accessed February 8, 2021. "Born In: Paterson, New Jersey... High School: Eastside High School (Paterson, NJ)"
^Krajicek, David J. "Attacked by the Gang", New York Daily News, October 25, 2008. Accessed September 16, 2015. "On a mild October evening in 1900, a pretty teenager named Jennie Bosschieter walked to a drugstore from her home in Paterson, N.J., to fetch baby powder for an infant niece."
^Bill Braun, racing-reference.info. Accessed March 13, 2012.
^Limnios, Michael. "Pete Bremy: Integrate the Groove", Blues.gr, December 11, 2013. Accessed July 21, 2019. "Born in Paterson, New Jersey, Pete Bremy started singing about the age of 4."
^Idec, Keith. "Tardy Mets might have had Paterson's Briggs", The Record, May 17, 2011. Accessed March 13, 2012. "Johnny Briggs' baseball career might've turned out very different if a Mets scout hadn't arrived late to his house one night in October 1962. Briggs, a former Eastside star, was eager to hear what the newest National League team had to offer. The Mets had just paid another amateur free agent, Ed Kranepool, $85,000 to sign, and the Paterson native was intrigued by the prospect of playing so close to his hometown."
^Nash, Margo. "Memories Linger Of a 'Baaad Boy' From Paterson", The New York Times, March 24, 2002. Accessed December 6, 2016. "ON April 5, 1952, Abbott and Costello came to Paterson for the premiere of their film Jack and the Beanstalk. Klieg lights pierced the sky around the Fabian Theater on Church Street, and fans turned out to see Lou Costello, the star from Paterson who never forgot where he came from."
^"Pat Costello, 87, Brother of Late Comedian, Dies", Los Angeles Times, September 19, 1990. Accessed April 24, 2021. "Pat Costello, the brother of late comedian Lou Costello and a writer and producer of television’s “Abbott & Costello Show,” has died at his Encino home. He was 87.... Born Anthony S. Cristillo on Dec. 10, 1902, in Paterson, N. J., he served in the Navy during World War I."
^Zimmer, Kenyon. Immigrants against the State: Yiddish and Italian Anarchism in America, p. 66. Accessed December 28, 2017. "However, most of Paterson's anarchist women were like Ernestina Cravello, who before her emigration had a 'good reputation' and was not politically active but who became involved in the anarchist movement as a result of her two brothers' participation."
^Manual of the Legislature of New Jersey, p. 212. E. J. Mullin, 1977. Accessed August 14, 2019. "Frank Davenport, Rep., Paterson Senator Davenport was born in Paterson March 19, 1912. He attended St. Joseph's High School in Paterson."
^"Paterson Is Making Move to Honor Doby", The New York Times, June 27, 1997. Accessed January 24, 2012. "Larry Doby was a four-sport star in high school in Paterson, N.J., before going on to break the color barrier in the American League 50 years ago, when he joined the Cleveland Indians."
^Launer, Pat. "New Face at the Old Globe", San Diego Jewish Journal, January 31, 2013. Accessed March 19, 2016. "Edelstein (pronounced EH-duhl-steen), was born in Paterson, N.J. He grew up in Fair Lawn, N.J., where he attended Fair Lawn High School and went on to graduate summa cum laude from Tufts University."
^via Associated Press. "On the Road With Cary Edwards", The New York Times, April 25, 1993. Accessed August 8, 2019. "Oakland, N.J. (AP) — W. Cary Edwards, who served more than 30 years in state government, including as attorney general, died Wednesday at his home here.... Mr. Edwards was born July 20, 1944, in Paterson, N.J., and raised in Fair Lawn."
^Fitzgerald's Legislative Manual, 1960, p. 378. Accessed November 13, 2017. "William W. Evans, Jr. (Rep., Wyckoff) William W. Evans, Jr., was born in Paterson, New Jersey, on May 6, 1921..... He is former Mayor of Wyckoff, New Jersey."
^Muchnic, Suzanne. "Laurie Fendrich - 'Thinking About Art'", Artillery (magazine), November 8, 2016. Accessed October 23, 2018. "Compressing all that in a brief profile is a challenge, but she helps by dismissing most of her early years. 'I don’t have an interesting family story,' says Fendrich, 68, who was born in Paterson, New Jersey."
^Derrough, Leslie Michele. "Jon Herington – Steely Dan’S Lead Guitarist", Glide Magazine, June 24, 2013. Accessed August 11, 2019. "I was born in North Jersey in a town called Paterson but really grew up on the Jersey Shore in a town called West Long Branch, New Jersey."
^Blumenthal, Ralph."Philharmonic Gets Diary Of a Savvy Music Man", The New York Times, July 29, 2002. Accessed January 24, 2012. "Hill played violin with the orchestra until he was over 70, then fell into poverty and depression. In 1875, living in Paterson, N.J., he wrote a farewell note to his second wife: 'Why should or how can a man exist and be powerless to earn means for his family?'"
^Silversey, Dylon. "Paterson's Holt gets back into title picture with knockout victory", NJ.com, May 14, 2011. Accessed December 13, 2013. "Former NABO & WBO champion and Paterson native Kendall 'Rated R' Holt returned to his previously highly regarded form on Friday night, knocking out the former champion Julio Diaz (38–7 27KO), in the main event on ESPN's Friday Night Fights."
^Saxon, Wolfgang. "Charles S. Joelson, 83, Congressman Who Saved School Libraries", The New York Times, August 21, 1999. Accessed December 3, 2017. "A native of Paterson, Charles Joelson graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1937 from Cornell University, where he also received his law degree in 1939. He practiced law in Paterson until 1961, with time out for service as an ensign in the Navy's intelligence service in the Far East during World War II. He served on the Paterson City Council in the early 1950s and then as a 'racket-busting' Deputy Attorney General of New Jersey."
^"How hit show This Is Us is connected to NJ — NO spoilers, scout’s honor!", WKXW, February 23, 2017. Accessed February 17, 2018. "First, the cast includes New Jersey native, Ron Cephas Jones. The Paterson native who plays William (Randall's biological dad) graduated John F. Kennedy High School and then attended Ramapo College in Mahwah. Jones also has had recent roles in Mr. Robot & Luke Cage."
^Gordon, Peter M. King Kelly, Society for American Baseball Research. Accessed August 20, 2014. "Kelly told the story of what happened next in his autobiography, Play Ball, Stories of the Ball Field: 'Ill health compelled my father to leave the army, and we moved to Paterson, N.J.'"
^James, Randy. "2-Min. Bio: Bernard Kerik", Time (magazine) November 6, 2009. Accessed May 1, 2010. "Born Sept. 4, 1955, in Newark, N.J., 'Bernie' grew up in a tough neighborhood of Paterson, N.J., a suburb of New York City."
^"The Path of No Resistance with Garret Kramer", DrKevinPecca.com, October 30, 2017. Accessed December 3, 2017. "[Q] Garret, where are you from? [A] I was born in Paterson, New Jersey. I grew up in Clifton, New Jersey. I was into playing hockey, pretty much that’s what I was into."
^"Col. Vincent Kramer, decorated Marine veteran", New Jersey Hills, October 11, 2001. Accessed June 29, 2020. "Vincent R. Kramer, 83, of the Basking Ridge section of Bernards Township, died on Monday, Sept. 17, 2001, at Morris Hills Multicare Center in Morristown. Born in Paterson, he attended the Bordentown Military Institute and Rutgers College under football scholarships."
^Senator Lautenberg's BiographyArchived August 6, 2013, at the Wayback Machine, United States Senate. Accessed March 13, 2012. "Senator Lautenberg was born in Paterson, New Jersey, the son of Polish and Russian immigrants who came to the United States through Ellis Island. His early life was unsettled as his parents moved about a dozen times while struggling to support the family."
^Leal, John L. (1909). "The Sterilization Plant of the Jersey City Water Supply Company at Boonton, N.J." Proceedings American Water Works Association. pp. 100–9.
^Holden, Stephen. "Pop/Jazz; A Musician Follows His Idol", The New York Times, August 14, 1987. Accessed August 11, 2019. "Five nights a week, Mr. Levinsky leads a hand-picked ensemble of 14 alumni from Benny Goodman's big band in classic arrangements created over three decades. To top it off, he gets to play many of the Goodman clarinet solos he learned by heart when he was a child growing up in Paterson, N.J."
^Limnios, Michael. "Son Lewis: Silky Soul Bluesman", Blues Network, February 22, 2013. Accessed August 11, 2019. "Son (born Andrew Lewis, December 11, 1951, Paterson, New Jersey) was influenced greatly by artists such as Robert Johnson, Otis Rush, and Hubert Sumlin (who he had the pleasure of accompanying in December 2006)."
^Martin, Douglas. "Edward L. Masry, 73, Pugnacious Lawyer, Dies", The New York Times, December 8, 2005. Accessed December 8, 2007. "Edward L. Masry was born in Paterson, N.J., on July 29, 1932. His parents started a silk apparel business, but when silk import tariffs were lifted, the business faltered. The family then headed for California."
^Jones, Ken D.; McClure, Arthur F.; Womey, Alfred E. Character People, p. 135. A. S. Barnes, 1976. ISBN9780498016974. Accessed October 8, 2018. "Edward McNamara 1887-1944 Edward McNamara was born in Paterson, New Jersey. He became a policeman in that city, but he had a voice with lots of promise and was sent to the School of Music at the University of Michigan...."
^via Associated Press. "Dave Prater, 50, Dies; Soul Singer of the 60's", The New York Times, April 13, 1988. Accessed March 13, 2012. "Dave Prater Sr., of the soul-singing duo Sam and Dave, was killed Saturday when the car he was driving went off Interstate 75 near Sycamore, Ga., and hit a tree. He was 50 years old. Mr. Prater had lived in Paterson since 1974 and his body will be returned to New Jersey for burial next week, his widow, Rosemary, said Monday."
^Dominguez, Robert; with Hinckley, David. "Frankie Ruiz, Salsa Singer, Dead At 40", New York Daily News, August 11, 1998. Accessed November 14, 2011. "Born in Paterson, N.J., Ruiz spent his childhood in Puerto Rico and was singing professionally with Orquesta La Solucion by the time he was a teenager."
^Danforth Public Library[permanent dead link], Paterson Arts Council. Accessed March 13, 2012. "Paterson adopted a free library law in 1885 and opened the first public library in the State of New Jersey in 1886. By 1888, having outgrown the Stimson House on Church Street, Mary Danforth Ryle donated her father's residence for a new library."
^Bishop Nicholas Samra, St. John the Baptist Melkite Catholic Church. Accessed July 21, 2019. "Born and raised in Paterson, New Jersey, seminary educated in Massachusetts, Bishop Nicholas Samra was ordained a priest in 1970."
^Manual of the Legislature of New Jersey, 1977, p. 255. E. J. Mullin, 1977. Accessed July 18, 2019. "John A. Spizziri, Rep., Franklin Lakes - Assemblyman Spizziri was born in Paterson Sept. 2, 1934. He was first elected to the Wyckoff Township Committee in 1966, and served as road commissioner."
^The Lewis Stimson, MD (1844–1917) Papers, Weill Cornell Library. Accessed December 22, 2017. "Lewis Atterbury Stimson was born August 24, 1844, in Paterson, New Jersey, the second son of Henry Clark and Julia Atterbury Stimson. He was educated in the Paterson schools and at Yale College from which he graduated in 1863."
^Kazbek Tambi, Seton Hall Pirates. Accessed May 30, 2015. "A native of Paterson, N.J., he earned his law degree from Seton Hall University Law School in 1990."
^Staff. "Typists to Demonstrate Speed", The New York Times, October 7, 1928. Accessed March 13, 2012. "Albert Tangora of Paterson, N. J, and Irma Wright of Toronto, Canada, new professional and amateur typing champions, will give demonstrations at the National Business Show which opens in Madison Square Garden..."
^Popper, Steve. "Pro Basketball; Marbury and Tim Thomas Connect in Victory", The New York Times, March 4, 2004. Accessed September 4, 2011. "One would like to believe that the play had been rehearsed on playgrounds and in gyms when they were younger. Stephon Marbury and Tim Thomas, one from Brooklyn, the other from Paterson, N.J., grew up playing together on all-star teams and in tournaments."
^Lancifer, Unkle. "Dante Tomaselli :: The Kindertrauma Interview", Kindertrauma, February 14, 2011. Accessed March 13, 2012. "Unforgettable. I grew up on Alice, Sweet Alice... originally titled Communion. It made its world premiere in 1976 in Paterson. All my relatives were there. Many were extras in the movie. My Aunt Matilda stands out in the funeral scene. Both of my grandmothers were from Paterson and I was born in Paterson General Hospital."
^Quintanilla, Michael. "enfoque; Elizabeth Vargas", San Antonio Express-News, January 26, 2006. Accessed March 13, 2012. "Vargas, a woman in a field with so few Latinos, was born in Paterson, N.J., to a Puerto Rican U.S. Army captain and his Irish American wife."
^Rohan, Virginia. "Former Paterson resident is man behind the lines at the Oscars", The Record, March 7, 2010. Accessed December 31, 2012. "And Bruce Vilanch will jump right on it. 'The only really spontaneous parts of the show are the winners. Everything else is scripted. And so, unless somebody else goes off script, we know what everybody else is saying,' says Vilanch, a former Patersonian, who has written for the Oscars for the past 21 years."
^Weber, Bruce. "Theater Review; A Human Pez Dispenser Of Jokes and One-Liners", The New York Times, May 16, 2000. Accessed October 8, 2018. "Mr. Vilanch's show is organized along vaguely autobiographical lines. Against a backdrop of pastel-colored T-shirts pinned to the wall, many of them in children's sizes -- Michael Jackson's laundry, he explains -- he speaks about growing up as an ungainly boy in Paterson, N.J.; doing some modeling (for Lane Bryant) and acting; and his early career as a journalist in Chicago, where he met Ms. Midler 30 years ago while writing about her nightclub show."
^Hermann, Andy. "Jerry Vivino Coast To Coast", DownBeat, November 2018. Accessed August 11, 2019. "Most people don’t think of Paterson, New Jersey, as a great jazz town, but maybe they should. Native son Jerry Vivino certainly makes a case for it by teaming with fellow Patersonians Bucky and Martin Pizzarelli, who provide many of the highlights on the veteran reedsman’s fifth solo album."
^Staff. "The Break Presents: Fetty Wap", XXL (magazine), November 18, 2014. Accessed March 3, 2015. "However, it's definitely been a minute since the last Jersey MC popped off. Now, 24-year-old Paterson, NJ native Fetty Wap is trying to put the state back on the map with his buzzing record, Trap Queen."
^Yannis, Alex. "Hockey; The Devils, And Fans, Ignite First Match", The New York Times, October 8, 1995. Accessed January 27, 2012. "Moments after the banner was raised, Patrick Warburton, the actor who portrayed a fanatic Devils' fan in a segment of the Seinfeld television show, was called upon to drop the puck. With his face painted in Devils red and black, the native of nearby Paterson dropped the puck, then stripped the Brodeur jersey he was wearing to display the letter D on his chest."
^Devine, Elizabeth; and Turner, Roland. The Annual Obituary 1983, p. 91. St. James, 1983. Accessed October 8, 2018. "Alice White - Film Actress Born Paterson, New Jersey, USA, August 28th, 1907 Died Hollywood Hills, California, USA. February 19th, 1983"
^Hyman, Vicki. 'Why a kid from Paterson is telling A Bronx Tale on Broadway", NJ Advance Media for NJ.com, December 4, 2016. Accessed October 8, 2018. "Jerry Zaks is slumped on a banquette in a rear lounge of the Longacre Theatre, two weeks before the Dec. 1 opening curtain for the new musical A Bronx Tale.... 'This is the most intense moment just before we freeze the show,' sighs the 70-year-old Paterson native, his shock of white hair standing on end as he scrolls up and down through his production notes on an iPad."
^Suderman, Alan. "The Weed Candidate", Washington City Paper, March 6, 2013. Accessed August 6, 2014. "The son of a self-taught musician who was a big wheel on the bar mitzvah and Jewish wedding circuit in Paterson, N.J., Zukerberg moved to D.C. 30 years ago to go to law school at American University."