||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (June 2011)|
|Member of Parliament
for Wild Rose
|Preceded by||Louise Feltham|
|Succeeded by||Blake Richards|
April 23, 1936 |
Monte Vista, Colorado
A dual citizen of Canada and the United States, Thompson was born and raised in Monte Vista, Colorado. At the age 19 he tried out for the New York Yankees as a catcher, but failed to make the team due to Yogi Berra's dominance at the position. Years later in a meeting with U.S. President George W. Bush, upon hearing of the tryout, Bush looked at Thompson's hands and guessed which position he played.
Thompson served in the United States Army from 1958 to 1960. He moved to Canada in 1968 and became a citizen in 1974. For 23 years, Thompson was a high school teacher and then principal, and later became the mayor of Sundre, Alberta, serving from 1974 to 1980.
He was first elected to Parliament in 1993 as a member of the Reform Party, and continued to serve under its successors the Canadian Alliance and the Conservative Party of Canada. He became known for wearing a cowboy hat, and lobbied unsuccessfully to be allowed to wear it on the floor of the Commons. He claimed that the cowboy hat was part of his heritage, and he had as much right to wear it as MPs had the right to wear turbans or native feathers.
While serving in opposition, he was harshly critical of the Liberal government. Issues he has focused on include government spending, same-sex marriage, victims' rights, child pornography, and prison reform.
In June 2007, Thompson announced that he would not be running for re-election, and as a result stepped down from Parliament after the 2008 federal election.
His son, Dennis Thompson, who also has dual American-Canadian citizenship, enlisted in the U.S. army in 1996 and later served for a year in Iraq and Afghanistan.