Originally from the South Side of Chicago, Patrick was awarded a scholarship at 14 to Milton Academy through the Boston-based organization A Better Chance.
After Harvard College and Harvard Law School, he clerked for a federal appellate judge and then launched a career as an attorney and business executive, becoming a staff attorney at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights in the Clinton administration, a partner at two Boston law firms and a senior executive at two Fortune 50 companies.
In 2006, in his first bid for public office, he became Massachusetts’ first African-American governor. During his eight year tenure, Patrick helped revive a battered economy through the expansion of affordable health care, unprecedented investments in Massachusetts public schools and public infrastructure, and initiatives stimulating clean energy and biotechnology. Under his leadership, Massachusetts extended health care to over 98% of its residents, won a national Race to the Top educational grant, steered the state to a 25-year high in employment, and ranked first in the nation in student achievement, energy efficiency, veterans services and entrepreneurship.
From April 2015 to December 2019, he founded and built an impact investment fund at Bain Capital LLC, where he focused on investments that deliver both a competitive financial return and significant positive social impact. He continues to invest in stakeholder models of mission-driven business.
He is the Founder & Chairman of TogetherFUND, a political action committee to support progressive politics and grassroots groups working to drive turnout and engagement among disenfranchised and marginalized voters. He continues this work as co-chair of American Bridge 21st Century.
Patrick is a Rockefeller Fellow, a Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute, and the author of two books, A Reason to Believe: Lessons from an Improbable Life and Faith in the Dream: A Call to the Nation to Reclaim American Values. He lives in Western Massachusetts with his wife Diane, his dogs and his bees.