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Ellis E. Patterson

Ellis Ellwood Patterson (November 28, 1897 – August 25, 1985) was a one-term Democratic California congressman. Born in Yuba City, California, he served as representative between 1945 and 1947. Patterson also served in the California State Assembly. He was also the 33rd Lieutenant Governor of California, 1939-43.

Ellis E. Patterson
Ellis E. Patterson.jpg
Patterson in 1938
33rd Lieutenant Governor of California
In office
January 2, 1939 – January 4, 1943
GovernorCulbert Olson
Preceded byGeorge J. Hatfield
Succeeded byFrederick F. Houser
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 16th district
In office
January 3, 1945 – January 3, 1947
Preceded byWill Rogers, Jr.
Succeeded byDonald L. Jackson
Member of the California State Assembly
In office
Personal details
Born(1897-11-28)November 28, 1897
Yuba City, California
DiedAugust 25, 1985(1985-08-25) (aged 87)
Los Angeles, California
Political partyDemocratic
Alma mater
ProfessionAttorney, Politician

Born in Yuba City, California, Patterson attended public schools and graduated from the University of California, Berkeley in 1921. He served as a seaman in the United States Navy in 1917 and 1918 during World War I, and taught school in Colusa County, California from 1922 to 1924.

From 1923 to 1932, Patterson served as the district superintendent of schools for South Monterey County, California. He also studied law at Stanford University and the University of California from 1931 to 1936. He was admitted to the bar in 1937 and commenced law practice in Sacramento and Los Angeles.

Patterson served as a member of the California State Assembly from 1932 to 1938. In 1936, after being defeated in the primaries in his second re-election bid, Patterson waged a write-in campaign and won the election.[1] Originally elected as a Republican, Patterson switched his party affiliation to Democrat after becoming enamored with President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal.[1]

After gaining publicity for his write-in Assembly campaign, Patterson was elected Lieutenant Governor of California, and served from 1938 to 1942. He was defeated in 1942. He was elected as a Democrat to the 79th United States Congress in 1944. In 1946, he did not seek renomination for his House seat, but instead was an unsuccessful candidate for nomination for the United States Senate. Patterson was an unsuccessful candidate for election to the 81st United States Congress in 1948, and resumed the practice of law.

Truman re-election rally at Gilmore Stadium, Los Angeles, 1948. Left to right: Ronald Reagan, Lauren Bacall, (unidentified man), Harry S. Truman, Helen Gahagan Douglas, (unidentified man), (unidentified man), Ned R. Healy, Chester E. Holifield, Ellis E. Patterson, (unidentified woman).
Painting by Ellis E. Patterson circa 1950–1960. oil on canvas, 9x12" Gift to Ned R. Healy, fellow congressman.

He was a resident of Los Angeles until his death there, of cancer, on August 25, 1985.[1]


  1. ^ a b c "Ex-Lt. Gov. Ellis E. Patterson, 87, Dies of Cancer". Los Angeles Times. 28 August 1985. Retrieved 20 October 2012.

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