Harman Wayne Patterson, known as "Pat," was born in 1889 in San Francisco, California. Patterson graduated from Georgia Tech with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering in 1912. As a student, he played class baseball and varsity football, participated in the Glee Club and Mandolin Club, and served as vice-president and president of the Y.M.C.A. He also was a member of the track and tennis teams and served on the Yellow Jacket and Blue Print boards.