Paul was born in Chelsea, Ma and raised in Malden, Ma. He’s the oldest of four children, with two sisters and one brother. Paul graduated from the University of Massachusetts, Boston, earning a degree in History. He then went on to earn his M.Ed. in public administration from Boston State College. In 1976, Paul was appointed as a full-time firefighter for the city of Malden, Ma, being its first and only African-American Firefighter (1976-1983). During this time, Paul was also employed by the United States Customs Service as an Inspector (1982-1983). Paul then became a Special Federal Agent with the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in 1983. Paul worked as a Special Agent with the DEA for 28 years, retiring in 2011. Throughout his career with the DEA, Paul received numerous Letters of Commendation, including the Administrator Award, the highest award for the largest crack cocaine seizure in New England History.
Additionally, Paul received Honors and Awards for Sustained Superior Performance, Special Acts and Services and Outstanding and Meritorious Contributions. Simultaneously, from 1990 through 1996, Paul was a member of the United States Coast Guard Reserve where he received the American Defense Award in the first Gulf War. Paul and his wife Patrice [Palmer] Russell, R.Ph. have lived in Andover, Ma for seventeen years with their twin son and daughter. Their daughter Pauline is a graduate of the University of Maryland. Their son Paul is a student at the Norwich University. In his free time, Paul enjoys membership at the Andover Rotary Club where he is a board member, fulfilling his duties as a Delegate to the Massachusetts Democratic Party where he has been a delegate since 2012 and singing baritone in the Statewide Gospel Choir.