Patrice Failor has been by her husband through successes and tragedies, and now the longtime wife of James Comey is back in the spotlight as the former FBI director plans to take center stage.
On the eve of the release of his new book, Comey is making a highly anticipated appearance on 20/20 to discuss his firing at the hands of Donald Trump. Comey’s firing remains controversial and is the subject of an obstruction of justice probe by special counsel Robert Mueller, and Comey is now prepared to speak at length about how the events transpired.
But while James Comey is in the spotlight — a place unusual for the FBI director who preferred to work behind the scenes and sometimes literally blend in with the scenery — so too is his wife, Patrice Failor. Pictures of the foster care advocate and licensed counselor have spread across the internet along with details of her 31-year marriage to James Comey and some of the difficulties they faced along the way.
“She leaned over to someone I played basketball with at the gym and said, ‘Who’s that guy?’ and pointed at me,” Comey said in a 2014 interview. “We didn’t speak then, but I saw her at a dorm party a short time later. A mutual friend introduced us and we sat together on a couch. She let me talk about myself for three hours. Naturally, I walked away deeply in love with her, because she let me talk about myself, a habit which she has since fixed.”
As Newsweek noted, Patrice Failor has a master’s degree in counseling and now works as a foster care advocate.
She has seen tragedy in her own life. In 1995, the couple’s son Collin died just nine days after he was born after having contracted a Group B Strep virus. This helped lead Failor into child advocacy, as she wrote an editorial about how it could have been prevented.
Though Patrice Failor has mostly focused on raising the couple’s five children and working as an advocate, James Comey has occasionally brought her into the spotlight. When he was nominated by Barack Obama to serve as FBI director in 2013, Comey said his wife is the source of his success.
“Nearly everything I am and have done in my adult life is due to the great good fortune of marrying up,” he said at the ceremony (via WestportNow.com).
Failor has also been brought up as Donald Trump launches into a series of attacks against James Comey. Trump has called Comey a “slimeball” on Twitter, prompting defenders to note that Comey has been faithfully married to his wife for 31 years while Trump has married three times and is accused of having multiple affairs.
Patrice Failor now continues to gain attention as James Comey’s book is released, with pictures of the couple spreading across social media, and the spotlight will likely grow even larger after Comey’s book is released.