George E. Pataki
Watch the video to hear up close and personal why former three-term New York Governor George E. Pataki is so committed to ReConnect Hungary:
George E. Pataki, former three-term governor (1994-2006) of the State of New York, is the patron of ReConnect Hungary.
He is the highest ranking Hungarian-American ever elected to political office. Despite his distinguished academic credentials, public prominence and professional successes, he has never forgotten his roots and is committed to being a true Hungarian-American. He has handed down to his children the family legacy of love of freedom and the ancestral homeland, and it is no accident that his daughter, Allison, is ReConnect Hungary’s inspiration and Ambassador.
George Elmer Pataki was born June 24, 1945 in Peekskill, New York. His Hungarian grandparents, János and Erzsébet emigrated from Aranyosapáti (current day Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg County) in 1908. The Governor was actually named after George Washington, while his older brother was named after Louis Kossuth, to honor these two sides of his multiple ancestry.
Among numerous distinctions and awards, he was bestowed the Star of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Hungary and led the American delegation to Budapest to mark the 50th anniversary of the Hungarian Revolution.
The Governor never misses an opportunity to weave in his Hungarian heritage. When asked in 1995 during a visit to Hungary how he got to be so tall, he replied without hesitation: "Magyar blood and good American food."