Fred Dalton Thompson aka Freddie Dalton Thompson was an American politician, actor, attorney, lobbyist, columnist, and radio host born on August 19, 1942. Thompson served in the US Senate representing Tennessee from 1994 to 2003.Thompson also served as the chairman of International Security Advisory Board at the United States Department of State, was also a member of the U.S. China Economic and Security Review Commission, and was a Visiting Fellow with the American Enterprise Institute in national security and intelligence.He briefly ran for U.S. president in 2008 AD.
Thompson was the son of Ruth Inez and Fletcher Session Thompson, who was an automobile salesman. Thompson attended school in Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, graduating from Lawrence County High School, where he played football. He worked days in the local post office, and nights at the Murray bicycle assembly plant. Then after, Thompson entered Florence State College becoming the first ever member of his family to go to university. He later got transferred to Memphis State University, now the University of Memphis, where he earned double degrees in philosophy plus political science in 1964 and scholarships to Tulane and Vanderbilt University law schools. He went on to earn his Juris Doctor degree from the Vanderbilt Law School in 1967.
In 1985, Thompson was asked to play in the movie Marie, which was based on the life of Marie Ragghianti whom Thompson had defended. His natural talent led to several other roles and also as an actor. Thompson's films include 1987's No Way Out starring Kevin Costner, 1990's The Hunt for Red October and also the 1993's In the Line of Fire starring Clint Eastwood. He also made appearances in some television shows like Roseanne where he played Keith Faber, Roseanne's boss and nemesis at Wellman Plastics. Besides these, more of his TV credits include Wiseguy, China Beach, Sex and the City and The Good Wife.
In 1994, Thompson sought political office for the first time in his life. He filled the remaining two years of Al Gore's U.S. Senate term from Tennessee. After barnstorming the state in a red pickup truck while wearing cowboy boots, he won a landslide. He was re-elected in 1996 to a whole six-year term. In 2002, Thompson decided not to run for re-election and took the role of New York District Attorney Arthur Branch on the television series Law & Order. He was in the show until 2007 and announced his bid for the U.S. presidency. Thompson announced officially that he was withdrawing his candidacy for President of the United States on January 22, 2008.
Thompson got admitted to the State Bar of Tennessee in 1967.
in 1967. At that time, he shortened his name from Freddie to Fred. He also worked as an assistant U.S. attorney from 1969 to 1972, successfully prosecuting bank robberies. Thompson was the campaign manager for Republican U.S. Senator Howard Baker's reelection campaign in 1972 and also was minority counsel to the Senate Watergate Committee in its investigation of the Watergate scandal. In the 1980s, he was an attorney, with law offices in Nashville and Washington D.C., defending injury claims and people accused of white collar crimes. He was also appointed as Special Counsel to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (1980–1981), Special Counsel to Senate Intelligence Committee (1982), and Member of the Appellate Court Commission for the State of Tennessee (1985–1987).Thompson's clients included a German mining group as well as Japan's Toyota Motors Corporation. He served on various corporate boards. He also served on the board of directors for engineering Stone & Webster.
Renown as the reverse mortgage spokesman for American Advisors Group (AAG), the former U.S Senator had become the face of the reverse mortgage commercial, appearing in a lot of TV spots for the company, describing to the viewers in his congenial Tennessean drawl how they can use their home equity to provide for a secure, sustained and comfortable retirement. Many people consider reverse mortgage bad idea. However he had become successful in changing the perception of people towards reverse mortgage.
He was a tireless industry supporter. He advocated for policy changes that made reverse mortgage loans a viable financial solution for seniors. An outspoken advocate for the industry, Thompson had a personal experience after seeing how his mother’s life improved with reverse mortgage. He was such an accomplished man with a remarkable breadth of work. Fred imparted credibility, in-depth knowledge and commitment to making a difference in the lives of others. With deep respect , AAG continues to carry out their shared mission of making Americans live better in retirement.
Thompson was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL), a form of rare cancer, in 2004. In 2007, Thompson stated that he had no illness from it, nor any symptoms. Reportedly slow, Thompson's NHL was the lowest of three grades of NHL, and was unfortunately the rare nodal marginal zone lymphoma. It happens for only one to three percent of all cases. At the age of 73, on the morning of November 1, 2015, he left us from this world following the lymphoma recurrence. His funeral was held in Nashville in the presence of senators John McCain and Lamar Alexander .