Former federal Judge Patrick J. Duggan died in hospice care Wednesday


U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. - STEVE NEAVLING
  • Steve Neavling
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.

Patrick J. Duggan, who served as an influential federal judge for 29 years in Detroit, died Wednesday morning.

Duggan, the father of Mayor Mike Duggan, was 86.

Born in Detroit in 1933, Duggan received his law degree from the University of Detroit Mercy Law School and was in private practice until 1976.

In 1977, Duggan became a Wayne County Circuit Court judge until 1986. In September 1986, then-President Ronald Reagan nominated Duggan, a Republican, to a newly created seat on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.

Duggan retired from the federal bench in September 2015.

Duggan died at 4:30 a.m. at Angela Hospice in Livonia following a lengthy illness. In his final days, he was surrounded by his wife Joan, his four sons, his daughters-in-law, and his 13 grandchildren.

A public memorial won’t be held until later this year because of coronavirus fears.

Stay on top of Detroit news and views. Sign up for our weekly issue newsletter delivered each Wednesday.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.