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Deval Laurdine Patrick

Patrick, Deval Laurdine, 1956–, African-American politician and government official, b. Chicago, grad. Harvard 1978, Harvard Law School 1982. A lawyer with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund from 1983 to 1986, he was then in private practice until 1994, when he was appointed assistant attorney general for civil rights by President Bill Clinton. Returning to private practice in 1997, he became vice president and general counsel at Texaco in 1999 and executive vice president and general counsel at The Coca-Cola Company in 2001. Leaving Coca-Cola in 2004, he began a run for the Massachusetts governorship a year later, and won the Democratic nomination and the post itself in 2006. Patrick was the first African American to be governor of state outside the old South, and only the second ever to be elected to a governorship. He was reelected in 2010.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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