Mr FitzPatrick was born in Dundee in 1967 and was educated at Whitfield High School.

He studied forestry at Inverness College where he became the first sabbatical president of the student union before going on to become the elected NUS convener for the north of Scotland. He also worked for the Forestry Commission and later continued his education at Abertay University, gaining a first class honours degree in science.

He was an assistant to Shona Robison and Stewart Hosie in the SNP constituency office in Dundee before being elected to Dundee City Council in 1999. He was elected to the Scottish Parliament in May 2007, winning the Dundee City West seat and went on to serve on the Holyrood Finance Committee and as convener of the Local Government and Regeneration Committee.