Erin Brockovich-Ellis (born June 22, 1960) is an American legal clerk and environmental activist who, despite the lack of a formal law school education, or any legal education, was instrumental in constructing a case against the Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) of California in 1993. Since the release of the film that shares her story and name, she has hosted Challenge America with Erin Brockovich on ABC and Final Justice on Zone Reality. She is the president of Brockovich Research & Consulting, a consulting firm. She is currently working as a consultant for Girardi & Keese on the east coast, the New York law firm Weitz & Luxenberg, which has a focus on personal injury claims for asbestos exposure, and Shine Lawyers in Australia.
She was born Erin L. E. Pattee in Lawrence, Kansas to Frank Pattee, an industrial engineer and Betty Jo O'Neal-Pattee, a journalist. She attended Lawrence High School then Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas, and graduated with an Associate in Applied Arts Degree from Wades Business College in Dallas, Texas. She worked as a management trainee for Kmart in 1981 but quit after a few months and entered some potentially lucrative beauty pageants. After winning Miss Pacific Coast in 1981, she gave up pageant life. She has lived in California since 1982.
Brockovich received an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters, and was Commencement Speaker at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles on May 5, 2007. She also received an honorary Bachelor's degree from Jones International University and an honorary JD from Lewis & Clark Law School in Oregon.