Patty grew up in Tucson and attended Palo Verde High School. After only three years, she graduated cum laude from the University of Arizona with a degree in Journalism. Weiss began her television career reporting and anchoring for KOLD-TV in Tucson. Two years later she moved to San Diego, where she wound up ducking a typewriter thrown by anchorman Harold Greene, the model for Will Ferrell’s Ron Burgundy in “Anchorman.” After a couple of years in Southern California, Weiss accepted a position at KVOA in Tucson in 1975. She has the distinction of being the first woman to anchor an evening newscast at a commercial television station in Arizona. She served as one of the station’s main news anchors until her retirement in 2005.
After leaving KVOA, she hosted television segments for the Tucson Unified School District, then set her sights on political office. She ran for Congress in 2006 against Gabrielle Giffords. After the election, Weiss joined Western Progress, a nonpartisan think tank, where she served as the group’s communications director. In 2007 she moved to Wisconsin with her husband, Dr. Alan Gelenberg. They have five grown children.
Over the years, she has been honored with numerous awards, including being inducted into the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences’ Rocky Mountain Southwest Chapter’s prestigious Silver Circle, which recognizes broadcasters for twenty-five years of outstanding service in the same television market. She was also one of a handful of UA graduates who led the charge to save the University Of Arizona Department of Journalism when the administration wanted to eliminate it during the 1990’s. Patty has served on many of the university’s advisory boards, including those for the College of Behavioral Sciences; the Departments of Journalism and Psychology; the Institute For Children, Youth and Families; and UA Presents. She has also been involved with many civic and charitable organizations, serving on the Boards of the Tucson Botanical Gardens, Green Fields Country Day School and the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona.