Leonard Zax

Leonard Zax

Talk:

"City of the Future"

Paterson has always been a city of makers. Alexander Hamilton believed manufacturing would be the heart of the new nation’s economy, and founded Paterson as the world’s first city to fuel innovation and industry. Products made in Paterson—like Colt revolvers, locomotives, silk goods, and aircraft engines—transformed the country and the world.

The new Paterson National Park both preserves the city’s spirit of innovation and inspires creativity in modern Americans with a vibrant mosaic of traditions, cultures, and cuisines. It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to overcome the neglect and despair that has beset Paterson, and remake the city of makers.

Biography

Leonard Zax, grew up in Paterson, NJ, and graduated from Eastside High, the school portrayed in the movie Lean On Me. A lawyer and a city planner, he has extensive experience in urban development projects throughout the United States, Europe, and the Middle East.

As a partner in the law firm Latham & Watkins he took on a pro bono cause: creating a national park to help revitalize his hometown. Leonard testified before Congress to create the Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park. William Paterson University awarded him an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters for “dedication to the founding ideals of the City of Paterson and to the realization of those ideals for a better quality of life for its citizens.” Leonard now works full time to enhance the benefits of the new national park for the city, the state, and the nation as the President of the Hamilton Partnership.