Patrick Richards was born to Jack and Renee Richards on June 22, 2003, in Jackson, Tennessee. Both Jack and Renee were teachers; he taught history at the junior high school level, and she taught sixth grade.
At an early age, Patrick spent hours in the library, reading as much as possible while his mother graded papers. Often, Renee tutored in the afternoons to make a little extra money.
Finances were always tight in the Richards household. Like many teachers, neither Jack nor Renee made very much money. While the family rarely went without, they also rarely got to experience any luxuries.
While most of his friends went away to the beach or Disney World for vacations, Patrick and his family only took a weekend at a state park or something local. By the time he was in junior high school, Patrick's father had become an assistant football coach in order to bring in some financial help.
During high school, Patrick distinguished himself in English courses and was a standout on the academic and debate teams. By his junior year, he had taken a job bagging groceries at a local supermarket.
After graduation, Jack and Renee loaded up the pickup truck and moved Patrick to Oxford. He quickly stood out in his freshman courses. His energy and dedication were a welcome sight to teachers more accustomed to bored stares.
By his second year, Patrick had developed a reputation as an up-and-coming academic star. However, his view of the world as clearly divided along economic lines was polarizing among his classmates, and his criticism of the wealthy people of Ole Miss earned him as many enemies as friends.