About the Author

Pat O’Brien is a first time author.  He began writing “The Radical Moderate” in 2007 while serving as a county elected official in Little Rock, Arkansas.  While the book includes some stories that Pat learned from being around politics for 20 years, it is more focused on a new way of thinking about public policy. This thinking, though, has developed from the way in which Pat’s life has evolved.

Pat O’Brien was born on October 8, 1969 in Sioux City, Iowa.  He is the youngest of four children born to Mike and Gladys O’Brien.  Mike O’Brien opened a McDonald’s franchise in Jacksonville, Arkansas on January 3, 1973.  Mike O’Brien died in 1990 and Pat’s older brother, Jim O’Brien, took over the family business.  

Pat attended public schools and graduated from Jacksonville High School in 1988.  In high school, he worked as a string reporter for the local paper and as the editor of the Jacksonville High School newspaper. He also worked at the family’s McDonald’s restaurant as a cook full-time in high school and college (during the summer).

Pat graduated from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville with a Bachelors of Arts in political science and a minor in history in 1992.  He graduated from the University of Arkansas  at Fayetteville School of Law with a Juris Doctorate in 1995.  He passed the bar exam in August, 1995.

Pat maintained a general practice law office from 1995 to 2000.  He would become law partners first with Mike Wilson and then with Will Bond, a childhood friend.  Pat handled all kinds of cases such as estates and trusts, criminal defense, personal injury, contracts and general litigation.  Pat is still a member of the Arkansas bar in good standing though he does not actively practice.  

In September 1999, Pat was elected to Zone 6 of the Pulaski County School Board.  Pat served on the PCSSD board for one term from 1999-2003.  He did not run for a second term to the board.  

In April, 2000, Pat left the practice of law and became Director of Operations for JKP Foods, Inc.  This meant Pat was in charge of running the daily operation of seven McDonald’s restaurants in North Pulaski County.  Pat took the job because his brother, Jim, needed help running the business following his divorce. Pat was responsible for leading a staff of 350 employees doing sales of over $10 million per year.

On January 1, 2003, Pat became Chief of Staff for the 22nd Judicial District’s Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.  The office was led by Robert Herzfeld.  Pat was in charge of administrative staff, litigating complex cases and in cleaning up delinquent case files that had not been prosecuted.

In 2004, Pat campaigned for and was elected to the office of Pulaski Circuit/County Clerk.  The election system in Pulaski County had been under Federal monitoring before Pat took over.  Pat reformed the troubled election system starting on January 1, 2005.  Pat was re-elected to the office in 2006 and 2008 without opposition.

In 2010, Pat was the Democratic nominee for Arkansas Secretary of State.  This was a position that had been held by a Democrat for 140 years.  However, Pat got caught up in the tidal wave of Republicans being elected and lost the race 51%-49%.

In 2011, Pat took a job with BBA Solutions.  The primary business is the management of college textbook stores.  Pat is also a partner in a new division called First Class Cellular Repair, which fixes smart products.

Pat is an avid Razorback fan and of sports in general.  He plays basketball, golf and has recently taken up running.  He has attended St. Jude’s Catholic Church since the O’Brien family moved to Jacksonville.  

Pat is very excited about being a first time author and is available to talk about “The Radical Moderate” whenever and wherever there is a forum.  He enjoys traveling throughout the United States because it fits well with the development of his other businesses.  If you would like to invite him to an event, just e-mail him at patrickhenryobrien@hotmail.com.