Merchant in New York.
Livingston received an A.B. from Yale in 1737 and began his political career as a New York City alderman and in 1758 was elected to the state Assembly. He attended the first Continental Congress in 1774 and the Second Continental Congress from 1775 until his death, with brief interruptions during which he served in the New York legislature.
Livingston was a signer of the Declaration of Independence. With Franklin and others he served on the secret committee of Congress.
Born into a prominent family in Albany, New York. His brothers included William and Peter Van Brugh Livingston—Philip Livingston. Livingston married Christina Broeck in 1740.