L. Brooks Patterson

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L. Brooks Patterson
County Executive
Assumed office
Constituency Oakland County, Michigan
Personal details
Born (1939-01-04) January 4, 1939 (age 77)
United States

Lewis Brooks Patterson (born January 4, 1939) is an American lawyer and politician, currently County Executive of Oakland County, Michigan in Metro Detroit.[1] Patterson became the subject of controversy after making what some considered to be inflammatory remarks about the city of Detroit that were reported in 2014.[1]


Patterson graduated from the University of Detroit Jesuit High School and Academy in 1957. He received a Bachelor's degree from the University of Detroit, and his Juris Doctor in 1967 from its law school.[2] In 2005, he was Alumnus of the Year at his alma mater.[2]


L. Brooks Patterson opposed the desegregation busing plan related to Detroit Public Schools up to the U.S. Supreme Court, which decided Milliken v. Bradley.[3]

Following 16 years as the Prosecutor of Oakland County, he was elected in 1992 to the office of County Executive.[4] He was re-elected to a sixth term in 2012.[5]

Patterson faced criticism after comments he made about the city of Detroit, widely seen as "controversial" and "negative", were released in an article entitled “Drop Dead, Detroit!”.[1] Patterson was quoted as saying, among other things, "What we’re going to do is turn Detroit into an Indian reservation, where we herd all the Indians into the city, build a fence around it, and then throw in the blankets and corn".[1]

During his years as County Executive, Patterson has faced serious health problems, twice undergoing surgery to place stents to control blood flow and, in August 2012, being severely injured as the passenger in a car crash that left him hospitalized for a month and then placed in a medical facility for physical rehabilitation.[4] Still in care as of October 2012, Patterson dismissed claims that his injuries left him unfit to serve if reelected.[6]

Personal life[edit]

In 2007, Patterson lost his son, Brooks Stuart Patterson, in a snowmobile accident and, later that year, lost his twin brother Stephen Patterson.[4] In 2008, he established the Brooksie Way Half Marathon in honor of his son, an event sponsored by local businesses and drawing participants from the Oakland campus and area residents.[7][8]

See also[edit]


  • Binelli, Mark. Detroit City is the Place to Be. Metropolitan Books, Henry Holt and Company (New York). First Edition, 2012. ISBN 978-0-8050-9229-5 (hardback version).


  1. ^ a b c d "L. Brooks Patterson Slams Detroit: ‘The Truth Hurts… Tough S***’". CBS. January 21, 2014. Archived from the original on January 25, 2014. Retrieved January 21, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "UD Mercy School of Law". Retrieved October 3, 2012. 
  3. ^ Binelli, p. 114.
  4. ^ a b c "After crash, 'I love you' easier to say for Oakland County's L. Brooks Patterson". Detroit Free Press. October 1, 2012. Archived from the original on October 21, 2012. Retrieved October 3, 2012. 
  5. ^ Ramirez, Charles E. (October 2, 2012). "Tests show Patterson, driver had no alcohol, drugs in system before crash, attorney says". The Detroit News. Archived from the original on May 5, 2014. Retrieved October 3, 2012. 
  6. ^ "Oakland Dems question L. Brooks Patterson's ability to serve after crash". Detroit Free Press. October 2, 2012. Retrieved October 3, 2012. 
  7. ^ Sokol, Stephanie (October 2, 2012). "Brooksie Way returns to Rochester Hills". The Oakland Post. Retrieved October 3, 2012. 
  8. ^ "Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson: I'll be back in a couple of weeks". Detroit Free Press. September 29, 2012. Retrieved October 3, 2012. 

External links[edit]