John Malcolm Patterson is an American politician who served one term as the 44th Governor of the U.S. state of Alabama from 1959 to 1963 and as his state's attorney general from 1955 to 1959.
His turbulent tenure as governor was roiled by numerous civil rights protests and a long-running extramarital affair with Tina Sawyer, a mother-of-two who would eventually become his third wife. Patterson sought and ran with the support of the Ku Klux Klan when he won the governorship of Alabama in 1958. As governor, he was staunchly pro-segregation. He expressed remorse for his past beliefs later in life.
Patterson's fame began in the mid-1950s, when he and his father Albert fought against mobs who controlled the town of Phenix City, Alabama. In 2003, Patterson was the presiding judge over former Chief Justice Roy Moore's appeal against his removal from the Alabama Supreme Court. Patterson is currently the oldest and earliest serving living governor of any U.S. state.