Patrick Joseph Leahy (pronounced /ˈleɪhiː/; born March 31, 1940) is the senior United States Senator from Vermont. He is a member of the Democratic Party, the first and only elected Democratic United States Senator in Vermont's history and the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Leahy is the second most senior U.S. Senator.
Leahy was born in Montpelier, Vermont, the son of Alba (née Zambon) and Howard Francis Leahy, a printer. His father was Irish-American and his mother Italian-American. His family roots are traced back to Irish immigrants in Montreal, Quebec and his wife's family is from Quebec. He has a brother, John, and a sister, Mary.
Leahy graduated from Saint Michael's College in 1961 and received his J.D. degree from Georgetown University Law Center in 1964. He practiced as a lawyer until he was elected for four terms as State's Attorney of Chittenden County from 1966 to 1974. Leahy was elected to the United States Senate for the first time in 1974 (at 34, he was the youngest U.S. Senator ever to be elected by Vermont). Leahy was the first Democrat elected to the Senate from Vermont and remains the only Democrat to have been elected Senator from Vermont. He was also the first non-Republican Senator from Vermont since 1856.