Deval Laurdine Patrick (born July 31, 1956) is an American politician, civil rights lawyer, author, and businessman who served as the 71st governor of Massachusetts from 2007 to 2015. He was the first African American Governor of Massachusetts. A Democrat, Patrick served from 1994 to 1997 as the United States Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division under President Bill Clinton. He was briefly a candidate for President of the United States in the 2020 U.S. presidential election.
Raised largely by a single mother on the South Side of Chicago, Patrick earned a scholarship to Milton Academy in Milton, Massachusetts in the eighth grade. He went on to attend Harvard College and Harvard Law School, where he was president of the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau. After graduating, he practiced law with the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund and later joined a Boston law firm, where he was named a partner at age 34. In 1994, Bill Clinton appointed him as the United States assistant attorney general for the civil rights division of the United States Department of Justice, where he worked on issues including racial profiling and police misconduct.
In 2005, Patrick announced his candidacy for governor of Massachusetts. He was at first seen as a dark horse candidate but ultimately managed to secure the nomination in the September primary, winning 49% of the vote in the three-way race. In the general election, Patrick faced Republican Lieutenant Governor Kerry Healey and Independent Massachusetts Turnpike Commission member Christy Mihos. Patrick won the general election with 55% of the vote, becoming the first Democratic governor of Massachusetts since Michael Dukakis left office in 1991, and the state's first African-American governor. He was re-elected in 2010. He opted not to run for re-election in 2014.
Patrick is a managing director at Bain Capital and serves as the chairman of the board for Our Generation Speaks, a fellowship program and startup incubator whose mission is to bring together young Israeli and Palestinian leaders through entrepreneurship. He also holds a Board of Directors position at telehealth company American Well.