Jerry Patterson was born in Houston, Texas on November 15, 1946. He graduated from Texas A&M, Class of 1969 and was commissioned as a Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps.
After volunteering for duty in Vietnam, Patterson was later designated as a Naval Flight Officer and served in Marine fighter squadrons until his retirement from the Marine Corps Reserve as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1993.
From 1993 through 1999, Patterson served as state senator for District 11, including Harris, Galveston, and Brazoria counties. Patterson's most significant legislative successes include passage of the historic concealed handgun law, a constitutional amendment allowing home equity lending, the Texas coastal management plan and the creation of the Texas State Veterans Home Program. A tireless advocate for his fellow veterans, he chaired the first Veterans Affairs committee in the Texas Senate.
In November 2002, Patterson was elected as the 27th Texas Land Commissioner. He was re-elected to a third term in 2010.
In 2007, Patterson was named "Texan of the Year" for his outstanding work in promoting Texas history education and strengthening Texas Independence Day as a day of celebration for all Texans. In 2011, the Sons of the Republic of Texas named Patterson a "Knight of San Jacinto" for his efforts to preserve Texas history.
Jerry resides in Austin and has four children, twins Samantha and Cole, born in 2004, and Emily and Travis. His daughter Emily is an attorney in Kosovo for an agency funded by the U.S. State Department. His son Travis is a graduate of Texas A&M, where he was commissioned as a Marine Lieutenant. He served four overseas tours of duty as a U.S. Marine attack helicopter pilot in the War on Terror, including two in Iraq.
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