Burt Patterson was born in Laurel, Ms. He is married to Diane and has two children, Heather and Ivey, and two grandchildren.
He began his career working in drugstore at an early age as a soda jerk and stock boy. He continued working and going to school pursuing a Pharmacy degree. After graduating from Ole Miss with a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy in 1968, he began working in Jackson, MS for a community pharmacy and a hospital. He then returned to school and received a Masters degree in Urban and Regional Planning in 1972. He worked with the Mississippi Regional Medical program at the University of Mississippi Medical Center as a health planner focusing on emergency medical services in Mississippi.
Burt came to the coast in this capacity in 1972 and helped promote and oversee the drafting of the first Emergency Medical Service law in Mississippi. He left the program in 1974 and co-founded Mobile Medic Ambulance Service. After leaving Mobile Medic in 1976, he founded Patterson's Pharmacy.