| United States Senator |
December 2, 1994 –January 3, 2003
|Preceded by||Harlan Mathews|
|Succeeded by||Lamar Alexander|
|Chair of the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee|
January 20, 2001 –June 6, 2001
|Preceded by||Joe Lieberman|
|Succeeded by||Joe Lieberman|
January 3, 1997 –January 3, 2001
|Preceded by||Ted Stevens|
|Succeeded by||Joe Lieberman|
Freddie Dalton Thompson
August 19, 1942
Sheffield, Alabama, U.S.
|Died||November 1, 2015 73) (aged|
Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.
(m. 1959;div. 1985)
|Education|| University of North Alabama |
Memphis State University (BA)
Vanderbilt University (JD)
Freddie Dalton Thompson – November 1, 2015) was an American politician, attorney, lobbyist, columnist, actor and radio personality. Thompson, a Republican, served in the United States Senate representing Tennessee from 1994 to 2003, and was a GOP presidential candidate in 2008.(August 19, 1942
A politician is a person active in party politics, or a person holding or seeking office in government. In democratic countries, politicians seek elective positions within a government through elections or, at times, temporary appointment to replace politicians who have died, resigned or have been otherwise removed from office. In non-democratic countries, they employ other means of reaching power through appointment, bribery, revolutions and war. Some politicians are experienced in the art or science of government. Politicians propose, support and create laws or policies that govern the land and, by extension, its people. Broadly speaking, a "politician" can be anyone who seeks to achieve political power in any bureaucratic institution.
A lawyer or attorney is a person who practices law, as an advocate, attorney, attorney at law, barrister, barrister-at-law, bar-at-law, civil law notary, counsel, counselor, counsellor, counselor at law, solicitor, chartered legal executive, or public servant preparing, interpreting and applying law, but not as a paralegal or charter executive secretary. Working as a lawyer involves the practical application of abstract legal theories and knowledge to solve specific individualized problems, or to advance the interests of those who hire lawyers to perform legal services.
A columnist is a person who writes for publication in a series, creating an article that usually offers commentary and opinions.
Thompson served as chairman of the International Security Advisory Board at the United States Department of State, was a member of the U.S.–China Economic and Security Review Commission, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and was a Visiting Fellow with the American Enterprise Institute, specializing in national security and intelligence.
The United States Department of State (DOS), commonly referred to as the State Department, is the federal executive department that advises the President and conducts international relations. Equivalent to the foreign ministry of other countries, it was established in 1789 as the nation's first executive department. The current Secretary of State is Mike Pompeo, who ascended to the office in April 2018 after Rex Tillerson resigned.
The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), founded in 1921, is a United States nonprofit think tank specializing in U.S. foreign policy and international affairs. It is headquartered in New York City, with an additional office in Washington, D.C. Its membership, which numbers 4,900, has included senior politicians, more than a dozen secretaries of state, CIA directors, bankers, lawyers, professors, and senior media figures.
The American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, known simply as the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), is a Washington, D.C.-based conservative think tank that researches government, politics, economics, and social welfare. AEI is an independent nonprofit organization supported primarily by grants and contributions from foundations, corporations, and individuals.
As an actor, Thompson appeared in a number of movies and television shows including The Hunt for Red October, Die Hard 2 , In the Line of Fire , and Cape Fear, as well as in commercials. He frequently portrayed governmental authority figures and military men.In the final months of his U.S. Senate term in 2002, Thompson joined the cast of the NBC television series Law & Order , playing Manhattan District Attorney Arthur Branch.
The Hunt for Red October is a 1990 American espionage submarine film produced by Mace Neufeld, directed by John McTiernan, that stars Sean Connery, Alec Baldwin, Scott Glenn, James Earl Jones, and Sam Neill. The film is based on Tom Clancy's 1984 bestselling novel of the same name.
Die Hard 2 is a 1990 American action thriller film and the second installment in the Die Hard film series. The film was released on July 4, 1990 in the United States. The film was directed by Renny Harlin, written by Steven E. deSouza and Doug Richardson and stars Bruce Willis as John McClane. The film co-stars Bonnie Bedelia, William Sadler, Art Evans, William Atherton, Franco Nero, Dennis Franz, Fred Thompson, John Amos and Reginald VelJohnson.
In the Line of Fire is a 1993 American political thriller film, directed by Wolfgang Petersen and starring Clint Eastwood, John Malkovich and Rene Russo. Written by Jeff Maguire, the film is about a disillusioned and obsessed former CIA agent who attempts to assassinate the President of the United States and the Secret Service agent who tracks him. Eastwood's character is the sole active-duty Secret Service agent remaining from the detail guarding John F. Kennedy in Dallas, Texas, at the time of his assassination in 1963. The film also stars Dylan McDermott, Gary Cole, John Mahoney, and Fred Thompson.
Thompson was born in Sheffield, Alabama, on August 19, 1942, the son of Ruth Inez (née Bradley) and Fletcher Session Thompson (born Lauderdale County, Alabama, August 26, 1919, died Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, May 27, 1990), who was an automobile salesman. Thompson had English and distant Dutch ancestry.He attended public school in Lawrenceburg, graduating from Lawrence County High School, where he played high-school football. Thereafter, he worked days in the local post office, and nights at the Murray bicycle assembly plant.
Sheffield is a city in Colbert County, Alabama, United States, and is included in the Shoals metropolitan area. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city was 9,039. Sheffield is the birthplace of "country-soul pioneer" and songwriter Arthur Alexander, French horn player Willie Ruff, notable attorney, actor, former senator and presidential contender Fred Thompson, Watergate committee U.S. Senator Howell Heflin and U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell, whose father was working in nearby Athens when he was born. It sometimes is referred to as "the City of Senators" due to the births of Heflin, McConnell and Thompson within its borders. Col. Harland Sanders worked in the Sheffield depot for Southern Railway in the 1900s. It is also home to the Muscle Shoals Sound Studio where many popular 20th century musicians recorded their work, including Alexander and Ruff. It is the site of historic Helen Keller Hospital, formerly known as Colbert County Hospital and originally constructed in 1921. It was changed to Helen Keller Hospital in 1979, and Keller's birthplace Ivy Green is located less than one mile southwest of the hospital in adjacent Tuscumbia.
Lauderdale County is a county located in the northwestern corner of the U.S. state of Alabama. As of the 2010 census the population was 92,709. Its county seat is Florence. Its name is in honor of Colonel James Lauderdale, of Tennessee.
Lawrenceburg is a city in and the county seat of Lawrence County, Tennessee, United States, The largest city on the state's southern border between Chattanooga and Memphis, it lies on the banks of Shoal Creek. The population was 10,428 at the 2010 United States Census. The city is named after War of 1812 American Navy officer James Lawrence.
Thompson then entered Florence State College (now the University of North Alabama), becoming the first member of his family to attend college.He later transferred to Memphis State University, now the University of Memphis, where he earned a double degree in philosophy and political science in 1964, as well as scholarships to both Tulane and Vanderbilt law schools. He went on to earn his Juris Doctor degree from the Vanderbilt Law School in 1967.
The University of North Alabama (UNA) is a coeducational university located in Florence, Alabama. It is the state's oldest four-year public university. Occupying a 130-acre (0.5 km2) campus in a residential section of Florence, UNA is located within a four-city area that also includes Tuscumbia, Sheffield and Muscle Shoals. The four cities compose a metropolitan area with a combined population of 140,000 people.
The University of Memphis, colloquially known as U of M, is a public research university in Memphis, Tennessee. Founded in 1912, the university has an enrollment of more than 21,000 students.
A double degree program, sometimes called a dual degree, combined degree, conjoint degree, joint degree, simultaneous degree or double graduation program, involves a student’s working for two university degrees in parallel—either at the same institution or at different institutions —and completing them in less time than it would have taken to earn them separately. The two degrees might be in the same subject area, or in two different subjects.
Thompson was admitted to the state bar of Tennessee in 1967. At that time, he shortened his first name from Freddie to Fred.He worked as an assistant U.S. attorney from 1969 to 1972, successfully prosecuting bank robberies and other cases. Thompson was the campaign manager for Republican U.S. Senator Howard Baker's re-election campaign in 1972, and was minority counsel to the Senate Watergate Committee in its investigation of the Watergate scandal (1973–1974).
In law, the bar is the legal profession as an institution. The term is a metonym for the line that separates the parts of a courtroom reserved for spectators and those reserved for participants in a trial such as lawyers.
United States attorneys represent the United States federal government in United States district courts and United States courts of appeals.
Howard Henry Baker Jr. was an American politician and diplomat who served as a Republican US Senator from Tennessee, Senate Minority Leader, and then Senate Majority Leader.
In the 1980s, Thompson worked as an attorney, with law offices in Nashville and Washington, DC,handling personal injury claims and defending people accused of white collar crimes. He also accepted appointments as special counsel to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (1980–1981), special counsel to the Senate Intelligence Committee (1982), and member of the Appellate Court Nominating Commission for the State of Tennessee (1985–1987).
His clients included a German mining group and Japan's Toyota Motors Corporation.Thompson served on various corporate boards. He also did legal work and served on the board of directors for engineering firm Stone & Webster.
In 1973, Thompson was appointed minority counsel to assist the Republican senators on the Senate Watergate Committee, a special committee convened by the U.S. Senate to investigate the Watergate scandal.Thompson was sometimes credited for supplying Republican Senator Howard Baker's famous question, "What did the President know, and when did he know it?" This question is said to have helped frame the hearings in a way that eventually led to the downfall of President Richard Nixon.
A Republican staff member, Donald Sanders, found out about the White House tapes and informed the committee on July 13, 1973. Thompson was informed of the existence of the tapes, and he, in turn, informed Nixon's attorney, J. Fred Buzhardt."Even though I had no authority to act for the committee, I decided to call Fred Buzhardt at home," Thompson later wrote, "I wanted to be sure that the White House was fully aware of what was to be disclosed so that it could take appropriate action."
Three days after Sanders's discovery, at a public, televised committee hearing, Thompson asked former White House aide Alexander Butterfield the famous question, "Mr. Butterfield, were you aware of the existence of any listening devices in the Oval Office of the President?" thereby publicly revealing the existence of tape recordings of conversations within the White House.National Public Radio later called that session and the discovery of the Watergate tapes "a turning point in the investigation."
Thompson's appointment as minority counsel to the Senate Watergate committee reportedly upset Nixon, who believed Thompson was not skilled enough to interrogate unfriendly witnesses and would be outfoxed by the committee Democrats. According to historian Stanley Kutler, however, Thompson and Baker "carried water for the White House, but I have to give them credit—they were watching out for their interests, too ... They weren't going to mindlessly go down the tubes [for Nixon]."
Journalist Scott Armstrong, a Democratic investigator for the Senate Watergate Committee, is critical of Thompson for having disclosed the committee's knowledge of the tapes to Buzhardt during an ongoing investigation, and says Thompson was "a mole for the White House" and that Thompson's actions gave the White House a chance to destroy the tapes. Thompson's 1975 book At That Point in Time, in turn, accused Armstrong of having been too close to The Washington Post 's Bob Woodward and of leaking committee information to him. In response to renewed interest in this matter, in 2007 during his presidential campaign, Thompson said, "I'm glad all of this has finally caused someone to read my Watergate book, even though it's taken them over 30 years."
In 1977, Thompson represented Marie Ragghianti, a former Tennessee Parole Board chair, who had been fired for refusing to release felons after they had bribed aides to Democratic Governor Ray Blanton to obtain clemency.With Thompson's assistance, Ragghianti filed a wrongful termination suit against Blanton's office. During the trial, Thompson helped expose the cash-for-clemency scheme that eventually led to Blanton's removal from office. In July 1978, a jury awarded Ragghianti $38,000 ($139,165.09 in 2016 inflation rate) in back pay and ordered her reinstatement.
Thompson earned about $1 million in total from his lobbying efforts. Except for the year 1981, his lobbying never amounted to more than one-third of his income.According to the Memphis Commercial Appeal :
Fred Thompson earned about half a million dollars from Washington lobbying from 1975 through 1993 ... Lobbyist disclosure records show Thompson had six lobbying clients: Westinghouse, two cable television companies, the Tennessee Savings and Loan League, the Teamsters Union's Central States Pension Fund, and a Baltimore-based business coalition that lobbied for federal grants.
Thompson lobbied Congress on behalf of the Tennessee Savings and Loan League to pass the Garn–St. Germain Depository Institutions Act of 1982, which deregulated the savings and loan industry.A large congressional majority and President Ronald Reagan supported the act, but it was said to be a factor that led to the savings and loan crisis. Thompson received $1,600 for communicating with some congressional staffers on this issue.
When Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide was overthrown in 1991, Thompson made a telephone call to White House Chief of Staff John H. Sununu advocating restoration of Aristide's government, but says that was as a private citizen, not on a paid basis on Aristide's behalf.
Billing records show that Thompson was paid for about 20 hours of work in 1991 and 1992 on behalf of the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association, a family planning group trying to ease a George H. W. Bush administration regulation on abortion counseling in federally funded clinics.
After leaving the Senate in 2003, Thompson's only lobbying work was for the London-based reinsurance company Equitas Ltd. He was paid $760,000 between 2004 and 2006 to help prevent passage of legislation that Equitas said unfairly singled them out for unfavorable treatment regarding asbestos claims.Thompson spokesman Mark Corrallo said that Thompson was proud to have been a lobbyist and believed in Equitas' cause.
After Thompson was elected to the Senate, two of his sons followed him into the lobbying business, but generally avoided clients where a possible conflict of interest might appear.When he left the Senate, some of his political action committee's fees went to the lobbying firm of one of his sons.
Marie Ragghianti's case became the subject of a book, Marie, written by Peter Maas and published in 1983. The film rights were purchased by director Roger Donaldson, who, after traveling to Nashville to speak with the people involved with the original case, asked Thompson if he wanted to play himself. The resulting film, Marie , was Thompson's first acting role and was released in 1985. Roger Donaldson then cast Thompson in the part of CIA director in the 1987 film No Way Out .In 1990, he was cast as Ed Trudeau, the head of Dulles Airport, in the action sequel Die Hard 2 , as Rear Admiral Painter in The Hunt for Red October , and as Big John, the President of NASCAR, in the movie Days of Thunder (patterned on Big Bill France). Thompson went on to appear in many films and television shows. A 1994 New York Times profile wrote, "When Hollywood directors need someone who can personify governmental power, they often turn to [Thompson]." He portrayed a fictional President of the United States in Last Best Chance , as well as two historical presidents: Ulysses S. Grant in Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee (2007) and the voice of Andrew Jackson in Rachel and Andrew Jackson: A Love Story (both produced for TV).
In the final months of his U.S. Senate term in 2002, Thompson joined the cast of the NBC television series Law & Order, playing conservative District Attorney Arthur Branch for the next five years. Thompson began filming during the August 2002 Senate recess.He made occasional appearances in the same role on other TV shows, such as Law & Order: Special Victims Unit , Law & Order: Criminal Intent , and the pilot episode of Conviction . On May 30, 2007, he asked to be released from the role, potentially in preparation for a presidential bid. Due to concerns about the equal-time rule, reruns featuring the Branch character were not shown on NBC while Thompson was a potential or actual presidential candidate, but TNT episodes were unaffected.
In May 2007, he took a break from acting to run for the Republican nomination for president in the 2008 election, winning 11 delegates before dropping out of the race in January 2008. In 2009, he returned to acting with a guest appearance on the ABC television series Life on Marsand in the movie Alleged, about the Scopes Trial.
In 1994, Thompson was elected to finish the remaining two years of Al Gore's unexpired U.S. Senate term. During the 1994 campaign, Thompson's opponent was longtime Nashville Congressman Jim Cooper. Thompson campaigned in a red pickup truck, and Cooper charged Thompson "is a lobbyist and actor who talks about lower taxes, talks about change, while he drives a rented stage prop."In a good year for Republican candidates, Thompson defeated Cooper in a landslide, overcoming Cooper's early 20% lead in the polls to defeat him by an even greater margin. On the same night Thompson was elected to fill Gore's unexpired term, political newcomer Bill Frist, a Nashville heart surgeon, defeated three-term incumbent Democrat Jim Sasser, the chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, for Tennessee's other Senate seat, which was up for a full six-year term. The twin victories by Thompson and Frist gave Republicans control of both of Tennessee's Senate seats for the first time since Sasser ousted incumbent Bill Brock in 1976.
In 1996, Thompson was re-elected (for the term ending January 3, 2003) with 61% of the vote, defeating Democratic attorney Houston Gordon of Covington, Tennessee, even as Bill Clinton and running mate Al Gore narrowly carried the state by less than three percentage points on their way to re-election.During this campaign, Mike Long served as Thompson's chief speechwriter. The GOP continues to hold the seat, as it was won by former Tennessee Governor and Secretary of Education Lamar Alexander in 2002. Frist won re-election in 2000 before retiring in 2006, when Bob Corker held the seat for the Republicans despite the Democrats winning control of the House and Senate.
|Republican||Fred Thompson (Incumbent)||1,091,554||61.37%||+0.93%|
|Independent||John Jay Hooker||14,401||0.81%|
|Republican gain from Democratic||Swing|
In 1996, Thompson was a member of the Committee on Governmental Affairs when the committee investigated the alleged Chinese attempts to influence American politics. Thompson says he was "largely stymied" during these investigations by witnesses declining to testify, claiming the right not to incriminate themselves or by simply leaving the country.Thompson explained, "Our work was affected tremendously by the fact that Congress is a much more partisan institution than it used to be."
Thompson became committee chairman in 1997, but was reduced to ranking minority member when the Democrats took control of the Senate in 2001.Thompson served on the Finance Committee (dealing with health care, trade, Social Security, and taxation), the Intelligence Committee, and the National Security Working Group.
Thompson's work included investigation of the "Umm Hajul controversy" which involved the death of Tennessean Lance Fielder during the Gulf War. During his term, he supported campaign finance reform, opposed proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and promoted government efficiency and accountability.During the 1996 presidential debates, he also served as a Clinton stand-in to help prepare Bob Dole.
On February 12, 1999, the Senate voted on the Clinton impeachment. The perjury charge was defeated with 45 votes for conviction, and 55, including Thompson, against. The obstruction of justice charge was defeated with 50, including Thompson, for conviction, and 50 against. Conviction on impeachment charges requires the affirmative votes of 67 senators.
In the 2000 Republican presidential primaries, Thompson backed former Tennessee Governor Lamar Alexander, who eventually succeeded Thompson in the Senate two years later. When Alexander dropped out, Thompson endorsed Senator John McCain's bid and became his national co-chairman.After George W. Bush won the primaries, both McCain and Thompson were considered as potential running mates.
Thompson was not a candidate for re-election in 2002. He had publicly stated his unwillingness to have the Senate become a long-term career. Although he announced in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks his intention to seek re-election ("Now is not the time for me to leave," said Thompson at the time), upon further reflection, he decided against it.The decision seems to have been prompted in large part by the death of his daughter.
Thompson had an 86.1% lifetime (1995–2002) American Conservative Union vote rating, compared to 89.3 for Bill Frist and 82.3 for John McCain.Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) characterized her colleague this way: "I believe that Fred is a fearless senator. By that I mean he was never afraid to cast a vote or take a stand, regardless of the political consequences." Thompson was "on the short end of a couple of 99–1 votes", voting against those who wanted to federalize matters that he believed were properly left to state and local officials.
With Thompson's decision to campaign for the 2008 Republican Presidential nomination, his Senate record received some criticism from people who say he was "lazy" compared to other Senators.Critics say that few of his proposals became law, and point to a 1998 quote: "I don't like spending 14- and 16-hour days voting on 'sense of the Senate' resolutions on irrelevant matters. There are some important things we really need to get on with—and on a daily basis, it's very frustrating." Defenders say he spent more time in preparation than other Senators. Paul Noe, a former staffer, told The New York Times, "On the lazy charge, I have to chuckle because I was there sometimes until 1 in the morning working with the man."
Thompson continued his acting career after he left the Senate. He continued playing Arthur Branch on Law & Order until he left the show in May 2007 to prepare to run for President. He also appeared in Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World and Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee .
From 2002 to 2005, Thompson was head of the Federal City Council, a group of business, civic, education, and other leaders interested in economic development in Washington, DC.
In March 2003, Thompson was featured in a commercial by the conservative nonprofit group Citizens United that advocated the invasion of Iraq, stating: "When people ask what has Saddam done to us, I ask, what had the 9/11 hijackers done to us -- before 9/11."
Thompson did voice-over work at the 2004 Republican National Convention.While narrating a video for that convention, Thompson observed: "History throws you what it throws you, and you never know what's coming."
After the retirement of Supreme Court Associate Justice Sandra Day O'Connor in 2005, President George W. Bush appointed Thompson to an informal position to help guide the nomination of John Roberts through the United States Senate confirmation process.Roberts was subsequently confirmed as Chief Justice.
Until July 2007, Thompson was Chair of the International Security Advisory Board, a bipartisan advisory panel that reports to the Secretary of State and focuses on emerging strategic threats.In that capacity, he advised the State Department about all aspects of arms control, disarmament, international security, and related aspects of public diplomacy.
In 2006, he served on the advisory board of the legal defense fund for I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby Jr., who was indicted and later convicted of lying to federal investigators during their investigation of the Plame affair.Thompson, who had never met Libby before volunteering for the advisory board, said he was convinced Libby was innocent. The Scooter Libby Legal Defense Fund Trust set out to raise more than $5 million to help finance the legal defense of Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff. Thompson hosted a fundraiser for the Libby defense fund at his home in McLean, Virginia. After Bush commuted Libby's sentence, Thompson released a statement: "I am very happy for Scooter Libby. I know that this is a great relief to him, his wife and children. This will allow a good American, who has done a lot for his country, to resume his life."
In 2006, he signed on with ABC News Radio to serve as senior analyst and vacation replacement for Paul Harvey.He used that platform to spell out his positions on a number of political issues. A July 3, 2007, update to Thompson's ABC News Radio home page referred to him as a "former ABC News Radio contributor", indicating that Thompson had been released from his contract with the broadcaster. He did not return after his campaign ended.
Thompson signed a deal with Salem Communications's Townhall.com to write for the organization's magazine, Townhall, from April 23, 2007, until August 21, 2007,and again from June 8, 2008, until November 17, 2008.
On March 11, 2007, Thompson appeared on Fox News Sunday to discuss the possibility of a 2008 candidacy for president. At the end of March, Thompson asked to be released from his television contract, potentially in preparation for a presidential bid.Thompson formed a presidential exploratory committee regarding his possible 2008 campaign for president on June 1, 2007, but unlike most candidate exploratory groups, Thompson's organized as a 527 group.
Thompson continued to be mentioned as a potential candidate, but did not officially declare his candidacy. On June 12, Thompson told Jay Leno on The Tonight Show that while he did not crave the presidency itself, he would like to do things that he could only do by holding that office.A New York Times article cited Thompson's aides as saying on July 18 that he planned to enter the race just after Labor Day, followed by a national announcement tour.
On September 5, 2007, Thompson made his candidacy official, announcing on The Tonight Show that "I'm running for president of the United States" and running an ad during a Republican Presidential candidates' debate on Fox News .In both cases he pointed people to his campaign website to watch a 15-minute video detailing his platform. His campaign entrance was described as "lackluster" and "awkward" despite high expectations in anticipation of his joining the race. Fred Thompson was endorsed by the Virginia Society for Human Life and several other pro-life organizations.
In nationwide polling toward the end of 2007, Thompson's support in the Republican primary election was sliding, with Thompson placing either third or fourth in polls.
On January 22, 2008, after attracting little support in the early primaries, Thompson confirmed he had withdrawn from the Presidential race.In a statement issued by his campaign, Thompson said:
Today I have withdrawn my candidacy for President of the United States. I hope that my country and my party have benefited from our having made this effort. Jeri and I will always be grateful for the encouragement and friendship of so many wonderful people.
Thompson spoke at the 2008 Republican National Convention on September 2 in Minnesota, where he described in graphic detail presumptive Republican nominee John McCain's torture at the hands of the North Vietnamese during his imprisonment, and gave an endorsement of McCain for President.[ citation needed ]
Thompson signed an agreement to be represented as an actor by the William Morris Agency. [ citation needed ] Thompson also had roles in Disney’s Secretariat and the horror film Sinister . In 2014, he appeared in the film, Persecuted , focusing on religious freedom, government surveillance, and censorship.In 2009, he returned to acting with a guest appearance on the ABC television series Life on Mars , and as William Jennings Bryan in the TV movie Alleged, based on the Scopes Monkey Trial. Thompson portrayed Frank Michael Thomas in the CBS series The Good Wife ; besides having a similar name, Thomas also shares Thompson's love for acting and the law.
On March 2, 2009, he took over on Westwood One's East Coast noon time slot, hosting the talk radio program The Fred Thompson Show, after Bill O'Reilly ended The Radio Factor .It was co-hosted for a time by his wife, Jeri. Thompson's final show for Westwood One was aired on January 21, 2011. Douglas Urbanski took Thompson's place in the Westwood One syndication lineup.
In May 2010, Thompson became an advertising spokesman for American Advisors Group, a reverse mortgage lender.
Thompson's memoir , Teaching the Pig to Dance: A Memoir of Growing up and Second Chances, was published in 2010.
Thompson said that federalism was his "lodestar", which provides "a basis for a proper analysis of most issues: 'Is this something government should be doing? If so, at what level of government?'"
Thompson stated that " Roe v. Wade was bad law and bad medical science," and that judges should not be determining social policy.Thompson stated the government should not criminally prosecute women who undergo early term abortions.
Thompson did not support a federal ban on gay marriage, but would have supported a constitutional amendment to keep one state's recognition of such marriages from resulting in all states having to recognize them.
Thompson said citizens are entitled to keep and bear arms if they do not have criminal records,and the Gun Owners of America says that he voted pro-gun in 20 of 33 gun-related votes during his time in the Senate.
Thompson said that U.S. borders should be secured before considering comprehensive immigration reform,but he also supported a path to citizenship for illegal aliens saying, "You're going to have to, in some way, work out a deal where they can have some aspirations of citizenship, but not make it so easy that it's unfair to the people waiting in line and abiding by the law." Thompson supported the U.S. 2003 invasion of Iraq and was opposed to withdrawing troops, but believed that "mistakes have been made" since the invasion.
Thompson initially supported the McCain-Feingold campaign finance legislation, but later said that certain parts should be repealed.
Thompson was skeptical that human efforts cause global warming and pointed to parallel warming on Mars and other planets as an example.
In September 1959, at the age of 17, Thompson married Sarah Elizabeth Lindsey.Their son, Freddie Dalton "Tony" Thompson Jr., was born in April 1960. Son Daniel and daughter Ruth Elizabeth were born soon thereafter. While Thompson was attending law school, both his wife and he worked to pay for his education and support their three children.
The couple divorced in 1985. They have two surviving children,as well as five grandchildren. Thompson's daughter Elizabeth "Betsy" Thompson Panici died from a brain injury resulting from cardiac arrest after what was determined to be an accidental overdose of prescription drugs on January 30, 2002.
While single, Thompson had been romantically linked to country singer Lorrie Morgan, Republican fundraiser Georgette Mosbacher, future Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway, and columnist Margaret Carlson.
In July 1996, Thompson began dating Jeri Kehn (born 1966) and the two married almost six years later on June 29, 2002.When Thompson was asked in a December 2007 Associated Press survey of the candidates to name his favorite possession, he replied, tongue-in-cheek, "trophy wife". The couple have two children, a daughter Hayden born in 2003 and a son Samuel born in 2006.
Thompson was raised in the Church of Christ. According to Thompson, his values come from "sitting around the kitchen table" with his parents, and from the Church of Christ. While talking to reporters in South Carolina, Thompson said, "I attend church when I'm in Tennessee. I'm [living] in McLean right now. I don't attend regularly when I'm up there."On occasion, Thompson attended Vienna Presbyterian Church in Vienna, Virginia. He did not speak much about his religion during his campaign, saying, "Me getting up and talking about what a wonderful person I am and that sort of thing, I'm not comfortable with that, and I don't think it does me any good."
Thompson was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL), a form of cancer, in 2004. In 2007, Thompson stated, "I have had no illness from it, or even any symptoms. My life expectancy should not be affected. I am in remission, and it is very treatable with drugs if treatment is needed in the future—and with no debilitating side effects." Reportedly indolent, Thompson's NHL was the lowest of three grades of NHL,and was the rare nodal marginal zone lymphoma. It accounts for only 1–3% of all cases.
On the morning of November 1, 2015, Thompson died at the age of 73 from a recurrence of lymphoma.His funeral was held on November 6, 2015, in Nashville, Tennessee, with U.S. Senators John McCain and Lamar Alexander in attendance. He was interred at Mimosa Cemetery in Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, that same day.
|1985||Marie||Himself||Fred Thompson's first film|
|1987||No Way Out||CIA Director Marshall|
|1988||Unholy Matrimony||Frank Sweeny||TV movie|
|1989||Fat Man and Little Boy||Major General Melrose Hayden Barry||Movie about the Manhattan Project. Thompson's character may loosely be based on General Brehon B. Somervell, who oversaw the construction of the Pentagon.|
|1990||The Hunt for Red October||Rear Admiral Joshua Painter|
|Days of Thunder||Big John|
|Die Hard 2||Ed Trudeau|
|1991||Flight of the Intruder||JAGC Captain at Court-Martial||Uncredited|
|Class Action||Dr. Getchell|
|Necessary Roughness||Carver Purcell|
|Cape Fear||Tom Broadbent|
|Curly Sue||Bernie Oxbar|
|1992||Aces: Iron Eagle III||Stockman|
|Bed of Lies||Richard 'Racehorse' Haynes||TV movie|
|Thunderheart||William Dawes||Loosely based on the Wounded Knee Incident|
|White Sands||Arms dealer||Uncredited|
|Stay the Night||Det. Malone||TV movie|
|Day-O||Frank DeGeorgio||TV movie|
|Keep the Change||Otis||TV movie|
|1993||Barbarians at the Gate||James D. Robinson III||TV movie about the 1988 leveraged buyout of RJR Nabisco.|
|Born Yesterday||Sen. Hedges||Remake of the 1950 film based on Born Yesterday , a play by Garson Kanin.|
|In the Line of Fire||White House Chief of Staff Harry Sargent|
|1994||Baby's Day Out||FBI Agent Dale Grissom|
|2001||Rachel and Andrew Jackson: A Love Story||President Andrew Jackson||Voice, TV movie|
|2004||Evel Knievel||Jay Sarno||TV movie|
|2005||Racing Stripes||Sir Trenton||Voice|
|2005||Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World||Himself||Although Thompson plays himself, it is a slightly fictionalized version.|
|2007||Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee||President Ulysses S. Grant||TV movie Based on the book of the same name, which is about the Native American experience in the American West during the late 19th century.|
|2010||The Genesis Code||Judge Hardin||Film is based on debates about the relationship between religion and science.|
|Secretariat||Arthur "Bull" Hancock||Film is about the United States' Hall of Fame racehorse Secretariat.|
|Alleged||William Jennings Bryan||Film is about the 1925 Scopes Trial.|
|2012||The Last Ride||O'Keefe||Film is about legendary country music singer Hank Williams's self-destruction due to his dangerous addictions to drugs and alcohol.|
|2012||Sinister||Sheriff||directed and co-written by Scott Derrickson|
|2014||Persecuted||Fr. Charles Luther|
|23 Blast||Coach Powers|
|2015||A Larger Life||Robert Parker|
|90 Minutes in Heaven||Jay B. Perkins|
|2016||God's Not Dead 2||Senior Pastor||Posthumous release, (final film role)|
|1988||Wiseguy||Knox Pooley||3 episodes|
|1989||China Beach||Lt. Col. Reinhardt||1 episode|
|Roseanne||Keith Faber||1 episode|
|Matlock||Gordon Lewis||2 episodes|
|1993||Matlock||Prosecutor McGonigal||1 episode|
|2000||Sex and the City||Politician on TV||1 episode|
|2002–2007||Law & Order||D.A. Arthur Branch||116 episodes|
|2003–2006||Law & Order: Special Victims Unit||D.A. Arthur Branch||11 episodes|
|2005–2006||Law & Order: Trial by Jury||D.A. Arthur Branch||13 episodes|
|2005||Law & Order: Criminal Intent||D.A. Arthur Branch||1 episode|
|2006||Conviction||D.A. Arthur Branch||1 episode|
|2009||Life on Mars||NYPD Chief Harry Woolf||1 episode|
|2011–2012||The Good Wife||Frank Michael Thomas||2 episodes|
|2015||Allegiance||FBI Director||4 episodes|
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This article contains lists of official candidates associated with the 2008 Republican Party presidential primaries for the 2008 United States presidential election.
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The Tommy Thompson presidential campaign of 2008 began when the former Wisconsin Governor and Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy Thompson announced his candidacy for the Republican Party nomination for President of the United States on April 1, 2007. Thompson centered his campaign in Iowa, where he had spent the previous year building an organization in anticipation of the Ames straw poll. Throughout the campaign, Thompson remained low in Republican opinion polls and garnered very few political endorsements and campaign donations. He dropped out of the race on August 12, 2007 following a sixth-place finish at Ames.
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The political positions of Fred Thompson can be seen mainly through his actions as a Tennessee senator, and through his statements. Thompson had an 86.1 percent lifetime (1995–2002) Senate vote rating compiled by the American Conservative Union. Following are some of Thompson's remarks and positions on various issues.
Jeri Kehn Thompson is an American radio talk show host, columnist for The American Spectator, political commentator, and former political consultant for the Washington, D.C. law firm of Verner Liipfert. She has also worked for the Republican Senate Conference and the Republican National Committee. She was also employed with the public relations and lobbying firm Burson-Marsteller.
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Fred S. Karger is an American political consultant, gay rights activist and watchdog, former actor, and politician. His unsuccessful candidacy for the Republican nomination for the 2012 US Presidential election made him the first openly gay presidential candidate in a major political party in American history. Although he has not held elected or public office, Karger has worked on nine presidential campaigns and served as a senior consultant to the campaigns of Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush and Gerald Ford. Karger was a partner at the Dolphin Group, a California campaign consulting firm. He retired after 27 years and has since worked as an activist on gay rights causes, from protecting the gay bar The Boom to using his organization Californians Against Hate to investigate The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the National Organization for Marriage's campaigns to repeal the state's same-sex marriage law.
|Party political offices|
| Republican nominee for United States Senator from Tennessee |
| U.S. Senator (Class 2) from Tennessee |
Served alongside: Jim Sasser, Bill Frist
| Chair of the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee |
| Chair of the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee |
|104th||Senate: F. Thompson • B. Frist||House: J. Quillen • H. Ford Sr. • B. Gordon • B. Clement • J. Duncan Jr. • J. Tanner • E. Bryant • V. Hilleary • Z. Wamp|
|105th||Senate: F. Thompson • B. Frist||House: B. Gordon • B. Clement • J. Duncan Jr. • J. Tanner • E. Bryant • V. Hilleary • Z. Wamp • H. Ford Jr. • W. Jenkins|
|106th||Senate: F. Thompson • B. Frist||House: B. Gordon • B. Clement • J. Duncan Jr. • J. Tanner • E. Bryant • V. Hilleary • Z. Wamp • H. Ford Jr. • W. Jenkins|
|107th||Senate: F. Thompson • B. Frist||House: B. Gordon • B. Clement • J. Duncan Jr. • J. Tanner • E. Bryant • V. Hilleary • Z. Wamp • H. Ford Jr. • W. Jenkins|