Paul Patton attended the schools of Lawrence County in Northeastern Kentucky and graduated from Louisa High School in 1955. After graduation from the University of Kentucky with a degree in mechanical engineering in 1959, he began his professional career in the coal mining industry in Floyd County. In 1979, Patton turned to public service. He served briefly as the deputy secretary of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and then was the chairman of the Kentucky Democratic Party from 1981 to 1983. In 1981 he was elected county judge executive of Pike County where he served for 10 years. In 1991, he became Kentucky’s lieutenant governor and also served as secretary of Economic Development. He was elected governor in 1995 and served eight years in that position. In August 2009 he was appointed President of the University of Pikeville. In 2013 he stepped down from the presidency to assume the position of Chancellor, the position he holds today. In April 2015 he was appointed interim president of the University of Pikeville pending the recruitment of a new president and held that temporary position until Jan 1, 2016. He is married to Judi Conway Patton and they have four children and three grandchildren.