Patricia Riley Leyden

HomeSt. James PlaceA Customs AffairAbout the AuthorUp and Coming

Email Pat at:

Pat was born in Brooklyn, New York, and lived in four of the five boroughs of New York City at various times. Her all girls high school experience at The Mary Louis Academy in Jamaica, New York, inspired her to want a non-traditional career for a woman of the 1960s. A graduate of Queens College of the City University of New York, Pat did just that when she became a federal law enforcement officer with the U.S. Customs Service in 1971. Wearing a uniform and a badge and carrying a gun, Pat arrested drug smugglers, among other law enforcement duties, while working at J.F.K. Airport. Later, as a Customs manager at the World Trade Center, she wrote courses for other officers, speeches for the Commissioner, and helped make changes in Customs field operations. Pat and her husband were both survivors of the first terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in 1993, the same year that Pat and her husband and four daughters moved to Hunterdon County, New Jersey. She retired from the U.S. Customs Service in 1996 on an early retirement opportunity after twenty-five years of federal service. After earning a master’s degree in English from Rutgers University in 1999, Pat became a college English teacher first, then a high school English teacher. Pat loves being with family, friends, entertaining, cooking, reading, writing, movies, theater, and her dog and cats. Now a widow with four adult daughters and three grandchildren, Pat is retired and writing full time in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.