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How Judith Patterson discovered she was 'The Oilman's Daughter'

Cover image for
Cover image for "The Oilman's Daughter."
The Atavist

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Imagine waking up one day in your 30s and finding out you weren't exactly who you thought you were. That's what happened to Judith Patterson.

Judith knew she was adopted, but what she didn't know, for decades, was that her biological father was an incredibly wealthy oil tycoon. The discovery split her life in two. There was Judith, before she knew, and Judith after.

Her efforts to reconnect with her father is the subject of a fascinating piece which appears in the multimedia storytelling platform The Atavist. I recently spoke with the story's author, Evan Ratliff, who began by telling me a bit about Judith's childhood.