James R Thompson
- Category : 1936-births
- Type : PSE
- Profile : 5/2 - Heretical / Hermit
- Definition : Single
- Incarnation Cross : LAX Defiance 1
American politician who served as Governor of Illinois from 1977 - 1991. He passed the bar in 1959, became an associate professor at NW U and assistant Attorney General of Illinois from 1969-1970.
James Robert Thompson was born to Dr. James Robert Thompson, a pathologist, and Agnes Josephine (Swanson) Thompson. He grew up in middle-class Garfield Park on Chicago’s west side. As a boy of 11 he announced his intention to become president of the United States. In his high school yearbook he wrote, "1984, President of the U.S."
After completing high school, he entered pre-law studies at the University of Illinois in Chicago from 1953 to 1955 and at Washington University in St. Louis from 1955 to 1956. He then enrolled in Northwestern University Law School, where he earned his Juris Doctor degree in 1959. He was admitted to the Illinois bar in the same year and served for the next five years on the prosecutor’s staff of the state attorney for Cook County. From 1964 to 1969 he was associate professor of criminal law at Northwestern University.
From 1969 to 1970, while serving as an assistant attorney general, he was responsible for forming Illinois Attorney General Scott’s criminal division. He became a tough U.S. District Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois in November 1971, taking on the formidable machine of Mayor Richard Daley and cracking down on corrupt public officials of both parties. In 1975 he left his post to become counsel with a Chicago law firm until early 1977. He became a candidate for Governor of Illinois in 1976. He succeeded Dan Walker as Governor of Illinois in January 1977, the only public office he ever held.
Thompson met his future wife, ten-years-younger Jayne A. Carr, an attorney, when she took one of his seminars in law school. Seven years later, in the midst of his campaign for Governor of Illinois, 1976, he married her. Their daughter, Samantha Jane, was born in August 1978. They have two dogs and a cat and enjoy a casual lifestyle, antiquing and rare private moments together. He attends the theatre and reads spy novels when time permits. He is 6’ 6" tall, weighs about 220 lbs. and keeps fit by lifting weights and playing racquetball. He is a Presbyterian.