The Untold Truth Of Dan Patrick

During an interview with Fox News' Tucker Carlson on April 20, 2020, the lieutenant governor of Texas, Dan Patrick, said his state should be reopened because "there are more important things than living." 

To sum up Patrick's argument in a sentence, he appears to believe restarting the economy earlier than scientific experts recommend is worth the risk. The Republican lawmaker first shared this controversial view in March 2020, when he suggested to Fox News that senior citizens "take a chance" on their survival for the sake of their "children and grandchildren."

As Patrick continues to share his hot-button takes, some people have expressed interest in learning more about his background. So, who is Dan Patrick?

Not-so-surprisingly, Patrick is a big supporter of President Donald Trump. In a 2018 radio interview with North Texas radio host Mark Davis, the lieutenant governor reportedly said he considers Trump and Ronald Reagan the "two greatest presidents of [his] lifetime" (via Chron). He also called the 45th president of the United States "very, very bright." The politician added, "He is one of the smartest people I have ever met in politics. He's able to analyze things so quickly." 

Patrick agrees with nearly everything Trump says, including his belief that state representatives should ease stay-at-home orders amid the COVID-19 crisis.

Outside of politics, there are plenty of interesting details to share about the headline-grabbing lieutenant governor.

Dan Patrick earned himself a very curious nickname

Dan Patrick has been the lieutenant governor of Texas since January 2015, though he's originally from Baltimore, Md. Before that, he was a Texas senator for nine years, and a big political figure in the state.

Before turning to politics, Patrick was an American radio talk show host and television broadcaster. In the '80s, he became popular for his bizarre stunts, like "painting his entire body blue to support the Houston Oilers" and "wearing an oversized cowboy hat during his broadcasts," as Hollywood Life noted.

His first job after college was as a television broadcaster at WNEP-TV in Scranton, Pa. Patrick later held a similar position at WTTG in Washington, D.C. Eventually, he became the lead sportscaster at KHOU-TV in Houston, Texas.

Due to his TV career, Patrick garnered some great public speaking skills and was even nicknamed "the Silver-tongued Devil," per Texas Monthly.

Dan Patrick has faced economic strife

For a few years in the '80s, Dan Patrick owned a sports bar — one of the first in the United States — named Dan and Nick's Sportsmarket. His friend, Nick, was the co-owner and his mom was the company bookkeeper. Business boomed in the early '80s, and in no time, Dan and Nick became the owners of five sports bars in Texas. However, when Houston's oil boom ended and its economy suffered, his "line of sports bars went under," as the Texas Observer noted.

After filing for bankruptcy, Patrick reinvented himself and became a conservative talk radio host. To start, he bought himself a "tiny suburban Houston radio station with a weak signal," later building it into "a major player on Houston's AM dial" by the early '90s, according to the Statesman

Although he started off talking about sports, he eventually switched over to conservative politics. It was through his radio show that he was able to share his views on things like social issues, religion, and immigration, with the nation.

Random fact: Patrick reportedly discovered and hired controversial radio host Rush Limbaugh, per The Texas Tribune.

What's Dan Patrick up to now?

As of this writing, Dan Patrick continues to serve the state of Texas with his wife, Jan Patrick, by his side. The politician married Jan, a former school teacher in 1975, and he's dad to their two kids: son Ryan and daughter Shane. They're also grandparents to six grandchildren.

Despite the many hurdles the lieutenant governor of Texas faced early on in his life and career, he appears focused on the future and seems unfazed by his critics. Case in point: After catching heat in March 2020 for his comments about reopening America, he doubled down on his take, telling Fox News' Tucker Carlson a month later that he felt "vindicated." 

"I'm sorry to say that I was right on this ... what I said when I was with you that night is there are more important things than living. And that's saving this country for my children and my grandchildren and saving this country for all of us," he said. Patrick continued, "I don't want to die, nobody wants to die, but man we've got to take some risks and get back in the game and get this country back up and running."

Of course, there are plenty of people who challenge Patrick's view. Take Grey's Anatomy star Ellen Pompeo, who shared a harsh message for stay-at-home protestors.