The former Governor of the Panama Canal Zone, he died of congestive heart failure at Martin General Hospital, Greenbrae, California at age 71 on May 9, 1990. He was serving as Chairman of a special review panel in the office of the Army Chief of Staff when he was appointed to the Canal Zone Command in 1971, a post he held until he retired from the Army in 1975.
He had previously served in the Canal Zone in 1952-54 as military assistant to the Governor and returned there in 1963 as Lieutenant Governor. Was the Acting Governor in 1964 when Panamanian students demonstrated against the flying of the U.S. flag in the Zone. He called on U.S. troops to restore order, an action which resulted in the deaths of 20 Panamanians and 4 U.S. soldiers. Relations between the United States and Panama were severed for four years thereafter.
He was the son of an Army officer and was born on March 22, 1919 at Fort Huachuca, Arizona. He graduated from West Point in 1940. During World War II, he served on the staffs of Admiral Chester Nimitz and General Douglas MacArthur.
He is buried in Section 7-A of Arlington National Cemetery.
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Michael Robert Patterson was born in Arlington and is the son of a former officer of the US Army. So it was no wonder that sooner or later his interests drew him to American history and especially to American military history. Many of his articles can be found on renowned portals like the New York Times, Washingtonpost or Wikipedia.
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