OKEY LEONIDAS PATTESON was born in Dingess, West Virginia. After receiving a B.A. degree from Wesleyan College, he did post-graduate work at Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie Mellon University) in Pittsburgh, PA. He was a First Sergeant in the West Virginia National Guard for two years. He was President of Fayette County Court from 1935 to 1941 and Sheriff of Fayette County from 1941 to 1944. After serving as Executive Assistant to Governor Clarence Meadows, he ran a successful campaign for the governorship himself. During his administration, a State Board of Health was created and a four-year school of medicine, dentistry, and nursing was established at West Virginia University. After leaving office, Patteson became general manager of the West Virginia Turnpike Commission. He also served as director of the Raleigh County Bank in Beckley, West Virginia, as president of the Big-8 Development Corporation, and as a member of the National Advisory Council of the Federal Civil Defense Administration and of the board of trustees of West Virginia Wesleyan College.
Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 4. Westport, CT: Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.