|Date of birth||September 6, 1917|
|Place of birth||Goldsboro, North Carolina|
|Date of death||May 20, 2014(aged 96)|
|College||Wake Forest University|
Pate attended Wake Forest College where he excelled in football; he was chosen captain of the team in 1939, made All-State and All-Southern Conference and played in the 1939 Blue-Gray Football Bowl. He joined the professional Chicago Cardinals team in 1940 and played with the Philadelphia Eagles in 1941–1942. He served in World War II from 1943 to 1945. Pate was elected to Goldsboro High School's Hall of Fame in 1989.
Until his death, he was one of the oldest surviving professional football players. He is survived by Florence "Skip" Pate, his wife of 71 years. He is also survived by his daughter, Shyrlynn Pate, of Burlington; two sons, Rupert "Pete" Pate Jr. and his wife, Jane, of Burlington, and Carlyle Pate of Boone; a brother, Fletcher Earl Pate of Raleigh; five grandchildren, Shawn Meeks, Kimberly Meeks, Travis Pate, Christopher Pate and Joshua Pate; six great-grandchildren, Leo Pate, Eli Pate, Connor Pate, Macy Pate, Kierstyn Rowe and Levi Meeks and two great-great-grandchild, Zachary Meeks, and Ava Meeks.
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