Patrick served as Massachusetts' 71st governor from 2007 to 2015, following Mitt Romney, the current Republican U.S. senator from Utah who failed in his bid to stop Barack Obama's reelection effort in 2012.
Deval Laurdine Patrick was born July 31, 1956, in Chicago. According to his website, Patrick moved to Massachusetts in 1970. He was awarded a scholarship to Milton Academy through A Better Chance, a Boston-based organization.
Patrick's father, Laurdine Kenneth "Pat" Patrick Jr., was a jazz musician, composer and arranger who specialized in the jazz alto and baritone saxophones. The elder Patrick was best known for his four-decade association with jazz composer Sun Ra.
Patrick's father left his family when Patrick was 4, but he did manage to reconnect with his father before the musician's death in 1991.
Patrick graduated cum laude with a bachelor's degree from Harvard College in Boston -- becoming the first member of his family to attend college -- and earned his law degree from Harvard Law School. In 2015 Patrick was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree by Harvard University.
Patrick clerked for a federal judge before becoming an attorney in the private sector. Patrick worked for two Boston-based firms -- Day, Berry & Howard and Hill & Barlow. In 1994, he was appointed by President Bill Clinton as assistant attorney general overseeing the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice.
Patrick has also served in senior executive positions at Coca-Cola and Texaco.
If Patrick decides to run for president, he has until Friday to file for the first primary, which will be held Feb. 3 in New Hampshire, the New York Times reported.
Patrick has been a managing director of Bain Capital, a private equity firm since he left office, The Washington Post reported. The firm was co-founded by Romney and was criticized by Democrats when Romney ran against Obama.
Patrick married Diane Whiting in 1984, and the couple has two adult daughters, Sarah and Katherine.
Patrick's personal life might also receive renewed focus if he pursues the Democratic nomination. His wife was hospitalized for depression in 2007, the Post reported. In June 2019, his former brother-in-law, Bernard Sigh, was sentenced to six years in prison after he was convicted of charges that included the kidnapping and rape of Patrick's sister, the newspaper reported.
Patrick's great-great-great-grandmother, Emily Wintersmith, and her son bought a farm from a white man, Harvey Slaughter, for a very small sum, according to Family Tree magazine. An analysis of Patrick's autosomal DNA revealed Slaughter is Patrick's great-great-great-grandfather.