LDF Celebrates Black History: Deval Patrick, Former LDF Attorney and Massachusetts Governor

In This Installment of “LDF 75 Years of Making Black History”

The Honorable Deval Patrick was elected Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in 2006 and was reelected in November 2010, renewing his commitment to expanding opportunity and prosperity in Massachusetts. Governor Patrick’s life has charted a path from the South Side of Chicago to the U.S. Justice Department, Fortune 500 boardrooms, and now the Massachusetts State House. In each of these capacities, Governor Patrick has been guided by the advice of his grandmother: hope for the best and work for it.

First elected in 2006 on a platform of hope and change, Governor Patrick entered office propelled by an unprecedented grassroots campaign. Governor Patrick funded public education at the highest levels in the history of the Commonwealth and its school reform initiatives earned Massachusetts the top spot in the national Race to the Top competition. And through targeted initiatives that play to the Commonwealth’s unique strengths, like his landmark 10-year, $1 billion program to promote the state’s life sciences industry, the Governor has positioned the state as a global leader in biotech, biopharmaceuticals and IT, and as a national leader in clean energy, including making Massachusetts home to the country’s first offshore wind farm.


Renewing an Aging Infrastructure 

Governor Patrick committed the state to renew its aging infrastructure and oversaw the expansion of affordable health care insurance to over 98% of Massachusetts residents. His administration also accomplished major reforms that had eluded decades of other elected leadership, reforming the state’s pension systems, ethics laws, and transportation bureaucracy.

Deval Patrick came to Massachusetts in 1970 at the age of 14. A motivated student, he was awarded a scholarship to Milton Academy through A Better Chance, a Boston-based organization. 

Governor Patrick is a graduate of Harvard College, the first in his family to attend college, and of Harvard Law School. After clerking for a federal judge, in 1983 he joined LDF as an assistant counsel. He went on to a successful career in the private sector as an attorney and business executive, rising to senior executive positions at Texaco and Coca-Cola. In 1994, President Clinton appointed Patrick as Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights, the nation’s top civil rights post.