Governor Deval Patrick, the first African American governor of Massachusetts, was born on July 31, 1956, on the south side of Chicago.
Young Patrick was raised by a single mother and received an eighth grade scholarship from A Better Chance, a Boston-based organization that allowed him to attend the renowned Milton Academy in Massachusetts. He was the first in his family to attend college and received a Bachelor of Arts in English and American literature from Harvard College and his Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School.
Patrick soon developed an outstanding career, worked as a clerk for a federal judge, practiced as a lawyer at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, worked as a lawyer in the private sector, and became a partner at the age of 34. As a company manager, he rose to managerial positions at Coca-Cola and Texaco. In 1994, President Bill Clinton appointed Patrick Deputy Attorney General for Civil Rights, dealing with issues such as racial profiles and police misconduct.
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Patrick announced his candidacy for governor of Massachusetts in 2005. Despite a very heated governor's campaign involving family defamation, he emerged victorious in the general election with 55 percent of the vote. The politician was re-elected in 2010 and won the general election with 48 percent of the vote.
During his tenure, Patrick increased education and biosciences funding, increased state sales tax from 5 percent to 6.25 percent, expanded affordable health insurance to the majority of Massachusetts residents, and founded the country's first offshore wind farm. He left office in 2015 after two terms.
In 2019 he ran for the Democratic nomination for president. He announced his run on November 14 and suspended his campaign on February 12, 2020.
(Photo by Suzanne Kreiter / The Boston Globe via Getty Images)