TimelineGet InvolvedNominate a History Maker
Home | PoliticalMakers | Penfield W. Tate III
Color: Purple
Food: BBQ Ribs
Quote: The World Is Run By Those Who Show Up.
Season: Autumn
Vacation Destination: Grand Cayman
Philadelphia , Pennsylvania
Interview Description:

Biography |

Interview Date: 9/26/2016

Attorney Penfield W. Tate III was born on May 19, 1956 and grew up on military bases around the world until his father left the Army, settling in Boulder, Colorado, where he became the city’s first African American City Councilman and Mayor. Tate earned his B.A. degree in sociology at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado in 1978, and his J.D. degree from Antioch School of Law in Washington, D.C. in 1981.

Upon graduation from law school, Tate obtained a position as a Trade Regulation Attorney with the Denver Regional Office of the Federal Trade Commission. At the time, the Federal Trade Commission was developing the contemporary, more restrained interpretation of the unfairness doctrine, in which the commission limits itself to regulation of consumer injury. In 1984, Tate left the Federal Trade Commission joined the law firm of Trimble, Tate & Nulan; founded by his father seven years earlier. He became a partner with the firm in 1988 and his daughter, Elleana, was born shortly thereafter in 1989. In 1990, Tate returned to public service in an administrative capacity within the office of Denver’s Mayor Federico Peña. Tate left the mayor’s office, when Peña did not seek reelection, in 1991. He returned to Trimble, Tate & Nulan but left again in 1992, with his father, and founded his own law firm – Tate & Tate, P.C. Shortly after founding the new firm he took a leave and became executive director of the Colorado Department of Administration. In 1994, he was elected to the vice chairmanship of the Colorado Democratic Party, which he resigned in 1996 during his successful run for Colorado State House. The following year, he joined the Colorado State House of Representatives, representing District 8. In 2000 Tate successfully ran for the Colorado State Senate and was elected to serve Senate District 33. In 2003, he resigned this position but was defeated in his run for the position of Mayor of Denver, and returned to public finance law practice. In 2015, he joined the law firm of Kutak Rock, one of the largest firms of its kind in Colorado and the country, where he represents public entities, lenders, and underwriters engaged in financing essential public improvements, and advises local and state governments in the exercise of their administrative responsibilities. He is a regular panelist on the political talk show Colorado Inside Out.

Tate has served as a trustee of the Colorado Children’s Chorale and on the board of Denver Water, the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, and the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority. He was named the 2004 Father of the Year by the National Father’s Day Coalition and the American Diabetes Association.

Tate resides with his wife, Paulette Tate, in Denver, Colorado.

Penfield W. Tate III was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on September 25, 2016.

Speaker Bureau Notes: