Patrick's namesake is late film actor Pat O'Brien, because his father felt children should choose their own name, but upon his mother's insistence, chose a first name by randomly opening a movie magazine in 1946 when he was born and the featured actor was O'Brien. Destiny? Probably.
Until 2016, Patrick was a practicing scholar and professor of early Medieval literature and culture at West Virginia University. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Maryland and continues to contribute scholarship from time to time to professional journals.