Fred Thompson: Wikis


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Fred Thompson

Official congressional photo

In office
December 2, 1994 – January 3, 2003
Preceded by Harlan Mathews
Succeeded by Lamar Alexander

In office
January 7, 1997 – January 3, 2001
Preceded by Ted Stevens
Succeeded by Joe Lieberman
In office
January 20, 2001 – June 6, 2001
Preceded by Joe Lieberman
Succeeded by Joe Lieberman

Born August 19, 1942 (1942-08-19) (age 67)
Sheffield, Alabama, U.S.
Birth name Freddie Dalton Thompson
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) (1) Sarah Elizabeth Lindsey (Knestrick), 1959–1985; divorced
(2) Jeri Kehn, 2002–Present
Residence McLean, Virginia
Alma mater Memphis State University, Vanderbilt University
Profession Senator, actor, attorney, lobbyist, public speaker, radio personality
Religion Church of Christ

Fred Dalton Thompson (born Freddie Dalton Thompson[1][2] on August 19, 1942), is an American politician, actor, attorney, lobbyist, columnist, and radio host. He served as a Republican U.S. Senator from Tennessee from 1994 through 2003.

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 is a Visiting Fellow with the American Enterprise Institute, specializing in national security and intelligence.[3][4][5]

As an actor, Thompson has appeared in a large number of movies and television shows. He has frequently portrayed governmental figures.[6] In the final months of his U.S. Senate term in 2002, Thompson joined the cast of the long-running NBC television series Law & Order, playing New York City District Attorney Arthur Branch.[7]

In May 2007 he took a break from acting in order to run for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination. In 2009 he returned to acting with a guest appearance on the ABC television series Life on Mars; launched a radio show, The Fred Thompson Show, on Westwood One, co-hosted by his wife, Jeri; and is co-starring with Brian Dennehy in the movie Alleged, about the Scopes Monkey Trial.[8]

He lives in McLean, Virginia.[9]


Early life and education

Thompson was born in Sheffield, Alabama, the son of Ruth Inez (née Bradley, living in 2007 in Franklin, Tennessee) and Fletcher Session Thompson (born Lauderdale County, Alabama, August 26, 1919, died Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, May 27, 1990), who was an automobile salesman.[10][11] He attended public school in Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, graduating from Lawrence County High School. Thereafter, he worked days in the local post office, and nights at the Murray bicycle assembly plant.[12]

Thompson then entered Florence State College (now the University of North Alabama), becoming the first member of his family to go to university.[13] 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.[12] He went on to earn his Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree from Vanderbilt in 1967.[13]

Career as an attorney

Thompson was admitted to the State Bar of Tennessee in 1967. At that time, he shortened his first name from Freddie to Fred.[14] He worked as an assistant U.S. attorney from 1969 to 1972,[15] successfully prosecuting bank robberies and other cases.[12] Thompson was the campaign manager for Republican U.S. Senator Howard Baker's reelection campaign in 1972 and was minority counsel to the Senate Watergate Committee in its investigation of the Watergate scandal (1973–1974).

In the 1980s Thompson worked as an attorney, with law offices in Nashville and Washington, DC,[16] handling personal injury claims and defending people accused of white collar crimes.[17] 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).[12][13]

His clients included the German mining group and Japan's Toyota Motors Corporation.[18] Thompson has served on various corporate boards. He also did legal work and served on the board of directors for engineering firm Stone & Webster.[19]

Role in Watergate hearings

From left to right: Fred Thompson (minority counsel), Howard Baker, and Sam Ervin of the Senate Watergate Committee in 1973.

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.[20] Thompson is sometimes credited for supplying Republican Senator Howard Baker's famous question, "What did the President know, and when did he know it?"[21] This question is said to have helped frame the hearings in a way that eventually led to the downfall of President Richard Nixon.[22]

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.[23] "Even though I had no authority to act for the committee, I decided to call Fred Buzhardt at home," Thompson later wrote,[24] "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' 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.[18][20] National Public Radio later called that session and the discovery of the Watergate tapes "a turning point in the investigation."[25]

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 committee Democrats.[26] 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]."[26] When the Watergate investigation began to pick up speed, tapes revealed that Nixon remarked to his then-Chief of Staff Alexander Haig, "Oh shit, he's dumb as hell."[27]

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 on-going 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.[28] 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 in the context of 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."[28]

Corruption case against Tennessee governor

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 in order to obtain clemency.[29] 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.[18] In July 1978, a jury awarded Ragghianti $38,000 in back pay and ordered her reinstatement.[29]


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.[18] 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.[30] Thompson received $1,600 for communicating with some congressional staffers on this issue.[31]

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.[32]

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.[33][34]

Thompson has earned about one million dollars from his lobbying efforts. Except for the year 1981, his lobbying never amounted to more than a third of his income.[31] According to the Commercial Appeal newspaper:

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.[31]

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 in order to help prevent passage of legislation that Equitas said unfairly singled them out for unfavorable treatment regarding asbestos claims.[19] Thompson spokesman Mark Corrallo said that Thompson was proud to have been a lobbyist and believed in Equitas' cause.[35]

After Thompson was elected to the Senate, two of his sons followed him into the lobbying business,[36] but generally avoided clients where a possible conflict-of-interest might appear.[36] When he left the Senate, some of his political action committee's fees went to the lobbying firm of one of his sons.[37]

Character actor

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.[38] Thompson would go 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]."[6] He has 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).[39]

In the final months of his U.S. Senate term in 2002, Thompson joined the cast of the long-running NBC television series Law & Order, playing District Attorney Arthur Branch for the next five years. Thompson began filming during the August 2002 Senate recess.[12]

He has also 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.[7] 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.[40]

Senate (1994–2003)

Fred Thompson, 2002

Two campaigns for U.S. Senate

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."[41] In a good year for Republican candidates,[42] Thompson defeated Cooper in a landslide, overcoming Cooper's early 20 percent lead in the polls to defeat him by an even greater margin.[43] 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 percent of the vote, defeating Democratic attorney Houston Gordon of Covington, Tennessee, even as Bill Clinton and running mate Gore narrowly carried the state by less than three percentage points on his way to re-election.[44] 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.

Electoral history

Tennessee United States Senate Election, 1996
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Fred Thompson (Incumbent) 1,091,554 61.37 +0.93
Democratic Houston Gordon 654,937 36.82
Independent John Jay Hooker 14,401 0.81
Majority 436,617 24.55 +2.72
Republican hold Swing
Tennessee United States Senate Election, 1994 (Special)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Fred Thompson 885,998 60.44
Democratic Jim Cooper 565,930 38.61
Majority 320,068 21.83 -16.07
Republican gain from Democratic Swing

Senate career

Senator Thompson meeting with U.S. soldiers in South Korea.

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.[45] Thompson explained, "Our work was affected tremendously by the fact that Congress is a much more partisan institution than it used to be."[46]

Thompson became committee chairman in 1997 but was reduced to ranking minority member when the Democrats took control of the Senate in 2001.[47] Thompson served on the Finance Committee (dealing with health care, trade, Social Security, and taxation) the Intelligence Committee, and the National Security Working Group.[48]

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.[12] During the 1996 presidential debates, he also served as a Clinton stand-in to help prepare Bob Dole.[12]

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.

Campaign co-chairman for John McCain

In the 2000 Republican presidential primaries, Thompson backed former Tennessee Gov. 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.[49] After George W. Bush won the primaries, both McCain and Thompson were considered as potential running mates.[50][51]

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.[38] The decision seems to have been prompted in large part by the death of his daughter.[45][52]


Senator Thompson meeting with Girl Scouts.

Thompson has an 86.1 percent lifetime (1995–2002) American Conservative Union vote rating, compared to 89.3 for Bill Frist and 82.3 for John McCain.[53][54] 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."[55] 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.[56]

With Thompson's decision to campaign for the 2008 Republican Presidential nomination, his Senate record has received some criticism from people who say he was "lazy" compared to other Senators.[57] 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."[58]

Post-Senate activities

Political work

In March 2003, Thompson was featured in a commercial by the conservative non-profit 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."[59]

Thompson did voice-over work at the 2004 Republican National Convention.[60] While narrating a video for that convention, Thompson observed: "History throws you what it throws you, and you never know what’s coming."[61]

After the retirement of Supreme Court Associate Justice Sandra Day O'Connor in 2005, Bush appointed him to an informal position to help guide the nomination of John Roberts through the United States Senate confirmation process.[62] 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.[63] In that capacity, he advised the State Department about all aspects of arms control, disarmament, international security, and related aspects of public diplomacy.[64]

Legal defense for Lewis Libby

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.[65][66] Thompson, who had never met Libby before volunteering for the advisory board, said he was convinced Libby was innocent.[38] 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.[67] Thompson hosted a fundraiser for the Libby defense fund at his home in McLean, Virginia.[68] After Bush commuted Libby's sentence,[69] 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."[70]

Radio analyst

In 2006, he signed on with ABC News Radio to serve as senior analyst and vacation replacement for Paul Harvey.[71] 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 has been released from his contract with the broadcaster.[72] He did not return after his campaign ended.

Talk radio host

In 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. His show can be heard 12n-2pm EST on WHFS-AM in Washington, DC.

2008 Presidential campaign

Thompson in Iowa, 2007

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.[7] Thompson formed a presidential exploratory committee regarding his possible 2008 campaign for president on June 1, 2007,[73] but unlike most candidate exploratory groups, Thompson's organized as a 527 group.[74]

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, there were things he would like to do that he could only do by holding that office.[75] 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 (the first Monday in September), followed by a national announcement tour.[76]

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.[77] 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"[78] and "awkward"[79] despite high expectations in anticipation of his joining the race.[80]

In nationwide polling toward the end of 2007, Thompson's support in the Republican primary election was sliding, with his placing either third or fourth in polls.[81][82] Starting with the South Carolina Primary, however, he was more aggressively challenging his rivals until finishing third in that primary.[83]

On January 22, 2008, after attracting little support in the early primaries, Thompson confirmed he had withdrawn from the Presidential race.[84] 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 has signed an agreement to be returned as an actor with the William Morris Agency.[85] He also signed a deal with Salem Communications's to write for the organization's new magazine, Townhall, in May 2008.[86] Thompson recently has founded a new political action committee "Fred PAC" to raise money for conservative candidates.[87]

He spoke at the 2008 Republican National Convention on September 2 in Minnesota, and 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.

Westwood One stations' new radio program The Fred Thompson Show began airing nationwide on March 2, 2009, replacing The Radio Factor with Bill O’Reilly.[88]

Political positions

Thompson visits Dallas on July 25, 2007.

Thompson has said that federalism is 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?'"[56]

Thompson states "Roe v. Wade was bad law and bad medical science," and that judges shouldn't be determining social policy.[89] Thompson has also stated the government should not criminally prosecute women who undergo early term abortions.[90][91]

Thompson does not support a federal ban on gay marriage, but would support a constitutional amendment to keep one state's recognition of such marriages from imposing gay marriage on all states.[92]

Thompson says citizens are entitled to keep and bear arms if they do not have criminal records[93] 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.[94]

Thompson says U.S. borders need to be secured before considering comprehensive immigration reform,[95] but he also supports 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.”[96] Thompson supported the U.S. 2003 invasion of Iraq[97] and is opposed to withdrawing troops,[98] but believes "mistakes have been made" since the invasion.[99]

Thompson initially supported the McCain-Feingold campaign finance legislation, but now says certain parts should be repealed.[100]

Thompson is skeptical that human efforts cause global warming and has pointed to parallel warming on several planets such as Mars.[101]

Personal life

Marriages and children

Fred and Jeri Thompson with children in September 2007

In September 1959, at the age of 17, Thompson married Sarah Elizabeth Lindsey.[102] Their son, Freddie Dalton "Tony" Thompson Jr.,[1] was born in April 1960.[103] Another son and a daughter were born soon thereafter. While Thompson was attending law school, both he and his wife worked to pay for his education and support their three children.[18]

The couple divorced in 1985. They have two surviving children,[104] as well as five grandchildren. Thompson's daughter Elizabeth "Betsy" Thompson Panici died from an accidental overdose of prescription drugs on January 30, 2002.[45][52]

Prior to his second marriage, Thompson had been romantically linked to country singer Lorrie Morgan, Republican fundraiser Georgette Mosbacher and columnist Margaret Carlson.[105] In July 1996, Thompson began dating Jeri Kehn (b. 1966) and the two married almost six years later on June 29, 2002.[106] When Thompson was asked in a December 2007 Associated Press survey of the candidates to name his favorite possession, he humorously replied "trophy wife".[107] The couple have two children, a daughter and a son.[108][109][110]


Thompson has non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL), a form of cancer. "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," Thompson said.[111] Like many patients with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, Thompson received treatment with Rituxan.[112] Thompson's cancer, though currently incurable, is reportedly indolent, the lowest of three grades of NHL.[111] The cancer is nodal marginal zone lymphoma, a rare form of NHL, that accounts for only one to three percent of all cases.[113]


Thompson is a member of the Churches 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."[114] 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."[114]


Year Film Role Notes
1985 Marie Himself Fred Thompson's first film
1987 No Way Out CIA Director Marshall
1988 Unholy Matrimony Frank Sweeny TV film
Feds Bill Bilecki
1989 Fat Man and Little Boy Maj. Gen. Melrose Hayden Barry
1990 The Hunt for Red October Rear Admiral Joshua Painter
Days of Thunder Big John
Die Hard 2 Trudeau
1991 Flight of the Intruder Court-Martial Captain
Necessary Roughness Carver Purcell
Class Action Dr. Getchell
Curly Sue Bernard Oxbar
Cape Fear Tom Broadbent
1992 Aces: Iron Eagle III Stockman
Bed of Lies Richard 'Racehorse' Haynes TV Film
Thunderheart William Dawes Loosely based on the Wounded Knee Incident
White Sands Arms dealer
Stay the Night Det. Malone TV Film
Day-O Frank DeGeorgio TV Film
Keep the Change Otis
1993 Barbarians at the Gate James D. Robinson III TV Film 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 Andrew Jackson Voice
2004 Evel Knievel Jay Sarno TV Film
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 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 Ironman Governor Neeley
Alleged William Jennings Bryan Film is about the 1925 Scopes Trial.
The Genesis Code Judge Hardin Film is based on debates about the relationship between religion and science.
Secretariat Bull Hancock Film is about the United States' Hall of Fame racehorse Secretariat.

Television Series

Year Series Role Episode Count
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 Chief Harry Woolf 1 Episode


  1. ^ a b Humphrey, Tom (2007-09-07). "Fred, Freddie — he's still F.D. Thompson: New details emerge on personal life of newly announced candidate". Knoxville News Sentinel. Retrieved 2007-09-08. 
  2. ^ Mathews, Joe. “An in-law-made man”, Los Angeles Times (2007-09-06): “Thompson stopped using the name Freddie in his professional dealings and became Fred.”
  3. ^ American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, Scholars & Fellows.
  4. ^ Thompson, Fred. "Modern Political Archives: Fred Thompson Papers, 1993–2002". University of Tennessee. Retrieved 2007-04-08. 
  5. ^ U.S. Department of State
  6. ^ a b Bragg, Rick (November 12, 1994). "Grits and Glitter Campaign Helps Actor Who Played a Senator Become One". The New York Times. pp. Sec. 1, p. 10. Retrieved 2007-04-08. 
  7. ^ a b c Associated Press and Cameron, Carl. "Fred Thompson Quits 'Law & Order,' Moves Closer to 2008 White House Bid", Fox News (2007-05-31).
  8. ^ Liz Shaw (August 29, 2009). "Brian Dennehy, Fred Thompson to star in film shooting at Crossroads Village". The Flint Journal. 
  9. ^ "Profile: Fred Thompson", BBC News (2007-09-03).
  10. ^ Fred Dalton Thompson Biography (1942-) via
  11. ^ Reitwiesner, William Addams. "Ancestry of Fred Thompson". self-published, non-authoritative. Retrieved 2007-04-08. 
  12. ^ a b c d e f g Lawrimore, Erin. "Biography/History", University of Tennessee Special Collections Library (2005).
  13. ^ a b c "About Fred", via (Official Site). Retrieved (2007-07-13).
  14. ^ Malcolm, Andrew (6 September 2007). "Shocking truth about Fred Thompson revealed!". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2007-09-06. 
  15. ^ Fred Thompson Hometown Biography, Lawrenceburg Tennessee
  16. ^ Fred Thompson for President in 2008
  17. ^ Vogel, Kenneth. "Rivals Take Aim At Thompson", CBS News (2007-06-12). Retrieved 2007-07-08.
  18. ^ a b c d e Cottle, Michelle (1 December 1996). "Another Beltway Bubba?". Washington Monthly. Retrieved 2007-04-08. 
  19. ^ a b Dilanian, Ken. Past as lobbyist may play into future as candidate, USA Today (2007-06-06).
  20. ^ a b "Thompson cooperated with White House during Watergate". Associated Press. 8 March 2007. 
  21. ^ Joan Lowy (2007-07-07). "Fred Thompson aided Nixon on Watergate". Associated Press. Retrieved 2007-12-24. 
  22. ^ Cameron, Carl (8 March 2007). "National TV Star, Former Republican Senator Fred Thompson Mulls '08 Presidential Bid". FoxNews.,2933,257858,00.html. 
  23. ^ Kranish, Michael (2007-07-04). "Select Chronology for Donald G. Sanders". The Boston Globe. 
  24. ^ Thompson, Fred D. (1975). At That Point in Time: The Inside Story of the Senate Watergate Committee. New York: Quadrangle/New York Times. ISBN 0812905369. 
  25. ^ "Thompson's Watergate Role Not as Advertised" by Peter Obervy. National Public Radio. Published November 5, 2007
  26. ^ a b Lowy, Joan. "Fred Thompson Aided Nixon on Watergate," Associated Press (2007-07-07).
  27. ^
  28. ^ a b Kranish, Michael (2007-07-04). "Not all would put a heroic sheen on Thompson's Watergate role". The Boston Globe. pp. Sec. 1, p. 10. Retrieved 2007-07-08.  and "Fred Thompson Aided Nixon on Watergate". Forbes. 2007-07-04. pp. Sec. 1, p. 10. Retrieved 2007-07-08. 
  29. ^ a b The Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture: Leonard Ray Blanton, 1930–1996. Retrieved 2007-07-31.
  30. ^ Leibold, Arthur. "Some Hope for the Future After a Failed National Policy for Thrifts" in Barth, James et al. The Savings and Loan Crisis: Lessons from a Regulatory Failure, pages 58–59 (2004). Leibold cites Strunk and Case, Where Regulation Went Wrong: A Look at the Causes Behind Savings and Loan Failures in the 1980s, pages 14–16 (1988).
  31. ^ a b c Locker, Richard. "Thompson tells why lobbyist pay rose with GOP-led Senate", Commercial Appeal (1994-11-05).
  32. ^ Vogel, Kenneth. "'Law & Order' And Lobbying", The Politico (2007-04-02).
  33. ^ "Thompson lobbied for family planning". San Francisco Chronicle. July 19, 2007. Retrieved 2007-07-19. 
  34. ^ The records show he spent much of that time in telephone conferences with the president of the group. He also spoke to administration officials on its behalf three times for a total of about three hours, but it is unclear who in the administration Thompson spoke with or when. When the work became controversial in 2007 in light of Thompson's pro-life stance and 2008 presidential campaign, a Thompson spokesperson said, "The [lobbying] firm consulted with Fred Thompson. It is not unusual for a lawyer to give counsel at the request of colleagues, even when they personally disagree with the issue." See Jo Becker, Records Show Ex-Senator’s Work for Family Planning Unit, The New York Times, (2007-07-19). Retrieved 2007-12-22.
  35. ^ Birnbaum, Jeffrey. "Thompson Will Take On Outsider Role After Playing Access Man", Washington Post, June 12, 2007
  36. ^ a b David D. Kirkpatrick (2007-07-02). "As Senator Rose, Lobbying Became Family Affair". The New York Times. Retrieved 2007-12-22. 
  37. ^ Mullins, Brody. "Thompson PAC Benefits Son More Than Republicans," Wall Street Journal (2007-04-21).
  38. ^ a b c Hayes, Stephen F. (April 23, 2007). "From the Courthouse to the White House". Weekly Standard. Retrieved 2007-05-02. 
  39. ^ Keel, Beverly. "On screen, Thompson projects power, wisdom", The Tennessean (2007-05-08).
  40. ^ "TNT won't pull reruns starring Thompson", Seattle Times (2007-09-01).
  41. ^ Powers, William. "The Politician's Pickup Lines", Washington Post (1994-10-21). There is some question about whether Thompson actually did the driving. According to Kevin Drum of the Washington Monthly, "Thompson didn't even deign to drive the thing himself." Drum, Kevin. "Fred Thompson's Red Pick-up Truck", Washington Monthly (2007-05-07). Retrieved 2007-06-18. Media reports in May and June 2007 said that Thompson still has the truck, which is "parked behind Thompson's mother's home outside Nashville." Chipman, Kim. "Thompson's Backers Check His `Fire in the Belly' for 2008 Race", Bloomberg (2007-06-28). According to Newsweek, "The paint is peeling and its U.S. Senate license plates expired back in 2002." Bailey, Holly. "The Sign of the Red Truck", Newsweek (2007-05-28). Retrieved 2007-07-10.
  42. ^ Traub, James. "Party Like It's 1994", New York Times Magazine (2006-03-12): "The Republicans shocked political professionals, including President Bill Clinton, by gaining 52 seats in the House, giving them a majority there for the first time in 40 years. (They picked up eight seats in the Senate to wrest control there as well.)"
  43. ^ Heilemann, John. "The Shadow Candidates". New York Magazine. Retrieved 2007-06-18. 
  44. ^ "United States of America Presidential Elections of 1996, Electoral College Vote by States", Psephos, Adam Carr's Election Archive.
  45. ^ a b c Fund, John (17 March 2007). "Lights, Camera ... Candidacy?". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2007-04-08. 
  46. ^ Thompson, Fred. "Additional Views of Chairman Fred Thompson, Investigation of Illegal or Improper Activities in Connection With 1996 Federal Election Campaigns, Final Report of the Committee on Governmental Affairs, Senate Report 105-167 - 105th Congress 2d Session" (1998-03-10).
  47. ^ Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs, History of Committee Chairmen. Retrieved (2007-07-13).
  48. ^ Sen. Thompson's Official Senate Web Site (via
  49. ^ Neal, Terry M. (18 August 1999). "McCain Re-Emerges; Receives Thompson Endorsement". Washington Post. 
  50. ^ "Bush: 'The days of speculation are over'", USA Today (2000-07-22).
  51. ^ Zuckerbrod, Nancy."Thompson eyed for vice presidential role", via 2000-07-03). Retrieved 2007-07-10.
  52. ^ a b Halperin, Mark (May 24, 2007). "A New Role for Fred Thompson". Time.,8599,1624881,00.html. 
  53. ^ "How conservative is Fred Thompson?", Washington Times Editorial (2007-06-23).
  54. ^ Profile at Project Vote Smart (including bio, positions, finances, interest group ratings, votes, and statements).
  55. ^ Theobald, Bill."In D.C., tenacious Thompson defied prediction: Reliable conservative had fierce independent streak", The Tennessean (2007-07-08).
  56. ^ a b Thompson, Fred. "Federalism 'n' Me", AEI (2007-04-23). Retrieved 2007-05-13.
  57. ^ ""Thompson and the 'Laziness' Issue"" Newsweek (2007-09-29)
  58. ^ ""G.O.P. Hopeful Took Own Path in the Senate"" The New York Times (2007-09-29)
  59. ^ "Interview with Mike Boos of Citizens United". CNN. March 1, 2003. 
  60. ^ Goldsmith, Brian. "Beware The 'Convention Candidates'", CBS News (2007-04-20).
  61. ^ Thompson, Fred. "The Pitch", via YouTube. Retrieved (2007-07-13).
  62. ^ Lee, Christopher (September 9, 2005). "Hill Veterans Light the Way for Nominee". Washington Post. Retrieved 2007-07-19. 
  63. ^ International Security Advisory Board, Former Members, State Department web site.
  64. ^ International Security Advisory Board, State Department web site.
  65. ^ Shane, Scott (February 9, 2007). "Media Censors for the Jury Let a Style Item Get Through". The New York Times. 
  66. ^ Bohn, Kevin (February 9, 2007). "Libby trial provides a rare look inside the grand jury". CNN. 
  67. ^ Loller, Travis. "Looking at Thompson's Lobbying Past", ABC News (2007-06-25).
  68. ^ Copeland, Libby and Montgomery, David. "Scooter Libby's Pals, Trusting In Providence", Washington Post (2007-07-03).
  69. ^ George W. Bush, "Statement by the President", The White House, July 2, 2007, accessed 2 July 2007.
  70. ^ "Political Leaders Express Outrage, Support for 'Scooter' Libby's Commuted Sentence". Fox News. July 3, 2007.,2933,287790,00.html. 
  71. ^ Miller, Korin. Names and Faces, The Washington Post (2006-02-25).
  72. ^ The Fred Thompson Report, ABC Radio Networks.
  73. ^ "Fred Thompson to Speak in Richmond". WHSV TV. 2007-06-01. Retrieved 2007-06-03. 
  74. ^ Horrigan, Marie (2007-07-31). "Fred Thompson’s Long ‘Exploration’ Raises Money — and Confusion". Congressional Quarterly. Retrieved 2007-08-08. 
  75. ^ "Thompson Tells Leno He Would Like to Be President". Fox News. 2007-06-07.,2933,281596,00.html. Retrieved 2007-06-28. 
  76. ^ Nagourney, Adam. "Candidates Shift as G.O.P. Field Alters", NY Times (2007-07-19).
  77. ^ Steve McGookin (2007-09-05). "Thompson Finally Steps Onstage". Forbes.  Brief excerpts from the Tonight Show appearance are available from NBC. The full Tonight Show transcript is [1].
  78. ^ Bill Schneider (2007-10-16). "Poll: As Thompson's star fades, Clinton's on the rise". CNN. Retrieved 2007-10-17. 
  79. ^ Jill Zuckman (2007-10-10). "Thompson debuts as GOP candidates clash". Chicago Tribune. 
  80. ^ Robert D. Novak (2007-05-07). "Let down by Fred Thompson". Washington Post. Retrieved 2007-10-17. 
  81. ^ "November 30, 2007 - Presidential Preferences". American Research Group. 2007-11-30. Retrieved 2007-12-02. 
  82. ^ "Daily Presidential Tracking Polling History". Rasmussen Reports. 2007-12-02. Retrieved 2007-12-02. 
  83. ^ Thompson toughens tactics on the campaign trail -
  84. ^ "CNN Political Ticker: Thompson drops out of GOP Presidential Race". CNN. 2008-01-22. Retrieved 2008-01-22. 
  85. ^ Van Gelder, Lawrence (2008-03-26). "Fred Thompson Seeks Make-Believe Roles". The New York Times. 
  86. ^ Thompson, Fred. The Place to Discuss Our Fundamental Principles. 15 May 2008.
  87. ^ THEOBALD, BILL (August 28, 2008). "Thompson announces new committee to help GOP candidates". The Leaf-Chronicle (Gannett News Service). 
  88. ^ Nordyke, Kimberly (December 23, 2008). "Fred Thompson lands daily radio show". Reuters. 
  89. ^ "Transcript: Former Sen. Fred Thompson on 'FOX News Sunday'". 2007-03-11.,2933,258222,00.html. Retrieved 2007-06-17. 
  90. ^ "Exclusive! Former Tennessee Senator Fred Thompson on Possible White House Bid", Fox News Interview (2007-06-05).
  91. ^ Bailey, Holly. "Away From the Cameras," Newsweek (2007-06-25).
  92. ^ "Thompson: Roe bad law and bad medicine". CNN. August 17, 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-13. 
    "Nix That". The Corner. August 17, 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-20. 
  93. ^ Thompson, Fred. "Armed with the Truth", ABC Radio, May 10, 2007. Accessed May 13, 2007.
  94. ^ Craig Fields. "Presidential Candidates And The Second Amendment". Gun Owners of America. 
  95. ^ Thompson, Fred. "Prepared Remarks for Speech to Lincoln Club Annual Dinner", ABC Radio, May 4, 2007. Accessed May 13, 2007.
  96. ^ YouTube - Fred on the issues
  97. ^ 107th Congress-2nd Session 237th Roll Call Vote by members of the Senate
  98. ^ "Thompson: U.S. must rebuild military". 2007-08-21. Retrieved 2007-07-02. 
  99. ^ "Former Sen. Fred Thompson on 'FOX News Sunday'". 2007-03-11.,2933,258222,00.html. Retrieved 2007-07-02. 
  100. ^ Sean Hannity interview of Fred Thompson, Fox News, June 6, 2007. Accessed June 9, 2007.
  101. ^ Thompson, Fred. "Plutonic Warming", AEI, March 22, 2007. Accessed May 13, 2007.
  102. ^ Mathews, Joe ((2007-09-06)). "Thompson wed his ambition". Los Angeles Times.,0,7136744.story?coll=la-home-center. Retrieved 2007-09-07. : "In the summer of 1959....Lindsey told Thompson she was pregnant. He responded, friends say, by asking her to marry him.... Freddie and Sarah exchanged vows in a Methodist church during the second week of his senior year. Seven months later, in April 1960, 17-year-old Thompson had a son."
  103. ^ "Fred Thompson chronology". The Tennessean. May 6, 2007. 
  104. ^ Kirkpatrick, David (July 2, 2007). "As Senator Rose, Lobbying Became Family Affair". New York Times. 
  105. ^ Baxter, Sarah."Old Girlfriends Cast Their Vote for Thompson", Times Online (2007-06-24).
  106. ^ Grove, Lloyd (July 2, 2002). "Reliable Sources". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2007-11-20. 
  107. ^ Marc Santora (2007-12-15). "A Little Thompson Humor". The New York Times. Retrieved 2007-12-24. 
  108. ^ David Brody (April 24, 2007). "Fred Thompson's Secret Weapon". CBNnews. Retrieved 2007-11-20. 
  109. ^ Michelle Cottle (2007-10-22). "Jeri Rigged". The New Republic. Retrieved 2007-11-21. 
  110. ^ Mackenzie Carpenter (2007-08-12). "Married to ambition: Not your father's potential first spouse". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 2007-11-26. 
  111. ^ a b "Former Senator Fred Thompson in Remission for Lymphoma". Fox News. April 11, 2007.,2933,265271,00.html. 
  112. ^ Associated Press (May 15, 2007). "Fred Thompson discloses past cancer diagnosis". L.A. Times.,1,1455880.story. 
  113. ^ Bloom, Mark. "Fred Thompson, GOP Potential Candidate, Had Rare NHL," MedPage Today (2007-04-11).
  114. ^ a b Kim Chipman, "Thompson Says He's No Churchgoer, Won't Tout Religion on Stump", Bloomberg (2007-09-11).

External links

Documentaries, topic pages and databases
News media
United States Senate
Preceded by
Harlan Mathews
United States Senator (Class 2) from Tennessee
Served alongside: Jim Sasser, Bill Frist
Succeeded by
Lamar Alexander
Political offices
Preceded by
Ted Stevens
Chairman of Senate Governmental Affairs Committee
Succeeded by
Joe Lieberman
Representatives to the 104th–107th United States Congresses from Tennessee (ordered by seniority)
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


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Fred Thompson

Fred Dalton Thompson (born August 19, 1942) is an American lawyer, lobbyist, character actor and former Republican Senator from Tennessee (now residing in McLean, Virginia).[1] He was an unsuccessful candidate for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination.



  • I'm not above acting like a seal every once in a while and waiting for the next fish, I just don't want to do it all the time.
    • (full quote in context) Asked why he had not done more debates, Thompson replied "Standing up here 10 in a row, you know, like a bunch of seals waiting for somebody to throw you the next fish, is not necessarily the best way to impart your information to the American people. I'm not above acting like a seal every once in a while and waiting for the next fish, I just don't want to do it all the time."
    • Ryan Sager. "Mr. Sunshine State", The New York Sun, September 14, 2007. URL accessed on 2007-09-21.
  • The average 20-year-old serving us in Iraq knows more about their country's national security than the average 20-year political veteran serving in the Congress today.
  • This country has shed more blood for the freedom of other people than all the other nations in the history of the world combined, and I'm tired of people feeling like they've got to apologize for America.
  • Some of our folks went to Washington to drain the swamp and made partnership with the alligators instead.
  • We are always just one successful terrorist attack away from a nuclear disaster
    • Thompson, Fred. "Iowa Campaign Speech "Hands Down"", 2007-12-18.
  • We can't forget the fact that although at a particular point in time we never found any WMD down there, he clearly had had WMD. He clearly had had the beginnings of a nuclear program.

At That Point in Time

The following are quotes from Thompson's 1975 memoir:

  • Thompson, Fred (1975). At That Point in Time: The Inside Story of the Senate Watergate Committee. Quadrangle/New York Times Book Co. ISBN 0812905369.  

Initial involvement

  • When five men were captured in the Watergate offices of the Democratic National Committee early in the morning on Saturday June 17, 1972 I had just completed a three-year stint as an assistant United States Attorney in Nashville. Ironically I had resigned the day before the break-in. I was about to become an unpaid political worker- the middle Tennessee director for the reelection campaign of Sen. Howard Baker. (page 3)
We are always just one successful terrorist attack away from a nuclear disaster.

Loyalty to Baker

  • I was operating under the theory that, even though Baker had been responsible for my appointment, I was representing all three minority senators-Baker, Edward Gurney of Florida, and Weicker. If differences arose within the minority there was no question about where my loyalty lay and whose directions I would take, but I believed that I should try to respond to the wishes of Weicker and Gurney in every way possible. (page 25)

Perception of Nixon’s involvement and the nation

  • As I reflected further, I convinced myself that Nixon had not had prior knowledge to the break-in, nor of the cover-up that followed. Even if culpability reached dangerously close to the president, I reasoned, surely his top aides would have shielded him from damaging information, not just to protect themselves, but also to allow him to tell the nation, in the best faith, that neither he nor his chief advisors were involved. (page 39)

Warning the White House about the Watergate tapes

  • After sleeping late on Sunday, I was back at my desk that afternoon. I had two prime considerations. First, I wanted to be certain that the tapes were not a trap for the committee or that there was a significant bit of missing information that we lacked; experience taught me that matters of this importance do not usually fall into your lap without more complications that are immediately apparent. Second, if our information was legitimate, I wanted to be sure the White House was fully aware of what was to be disclosed so that it could take appropriate action. Legalisms aside, it was inconceivable to me that the White House could withhold the tapes once their existence was made known. I believed it would be in everyone’s interest if the White House realized, before making any public statements, the probable position of both the majority and the minority of the Watergate committee. Even though I had no authority to act for the committee, I decided to call Fred Buzhardt at home. Buzhardt was the only White House staff member with whom I had had any substantial contact. He had been unassuming and straightforward in his dealings with me. He never tried to enlist me in any White House strategy, to suggest that I relay confidential information, or to so any of the things that were probably assumed by many of the so-called sophisticates in Washington. (page 86)

Tapes and the threat of wiretapping

  • In hindsight, I have come to believe the discovery of the tapes may prove to be an historic event in more than one way. At a time when the United States government acknowledges that 2 million conversations were overheard by authorized eavesdroppers in a twelve month period, and at least an equal number were being recorded by private dectecies, suspicious spouses, corporate spies, special agents, and blackmailers; at a time when people like me conduct their lives under the assumption that their telephone lines are tapped; and at a time when devices such as the bug-in-the-martini-olive are proliferating, the disastrous consequences that flowed from Nixon’s fateful decision to record White House conversations may serve to awaken the nation to the threat posed to the little privacy that remains to us. (page 92)

Off-the record meetings

  • Not once did an off-the-record comment return to haunt me. For example, my relationship with Walter Pincus, editor of the New Republic, one of the nation’s most liberal magazines, developed to the point were he understood our conversations went off the record without my having to say so. I never divulged anything of great substance, but many of my comments about personalities and my own prejudices could have been extremely embarrassing had he (or others) betrayed my confidence. (page 236)

Impact of Watergate

  • I looked down on a quilt of clouds, bordered on the horizon by the blood-orange streaks of the setting sun. As the steady hum of the engine drowned out the chatter around me, I realized that I would probably be thinking about the implications of Watergate for the rest of my life. For the country, and for me it had been a significant point in time. (page 263)



External links

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Fred Thompson

Official congressional photo

In office
December 2 1994 – January 3 2003
Served alongside: Jim Sasser, Bill Frist
Preceded by Harlan Mathews
Succeeded by Lamar Alexander

Chairman of the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs
In office
January 7, 1997 – January 3, 2001
Preceded by Ted Stevens
Succeeded by Joe Lieberman
In office
January 20, 2001 – June 6, 2001
Preceded by Joe Lieberman
Succeeded by Joe Lieberman

Born August 19, 1942 (1942-08-19) (age 68)
Sheffield, Alabama, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse (1) Sarah Elizabeth Lindsey (Knestrick), 1959–1985; divorced
(2) Jeri Kehn, 2002–present
Alma mater Memphis State University, Vanderbilt University
Profession Senator, actor, attorney, lobbyist, public speaker, radio personality
Religion Church of Christ

Fred Dalton Thompson (born Freddie Dalton Thompson;[1] August 19 1942) is an American politician, actor, attorney, and lobbyist. He starred on Law & Order as Arthur Branch, the District Attorney of New York. He quit the show to run as the Republican candidate for the United States presidency in 2008, but he did not become the candidate. He is also the host of The Fred Thompson Show, one of Westwood One's most popular talk shows.

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