Bob Pachella was born in Paterson, New Jersey in 1944. He was an undergraduate at the University of Michigan and did his graduate study at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. He joined the Michigan faculty in 1970. He and his wife Georgie have two children, Andriana (28) and Tony (24), two cats, Gracie (15); a Bengal cat, Nahla (4); and a chocolate Labrador, Mick (12). He also has a son, Joe (44).