Fred Thompson was born 1942 in Alabama but moved as a youth to Tennessee.  He was the first member of his family to go to college.  He earned his law degree in 1967 and was admitted to the State Bar of Tennessee.  He was assistant U.S. attorney from 1969 to 1972.  He was a private attorney in Nashville and Washington, D.C. in the 1980s.  He also served as Special Counsel to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and Special Counsel to the Senate Intelligence Committee, and in 1973  was minority counsel for the Senate Watergate Committee. 


He served as a lobbyist until 1992.  He represented Westinghouse, two cable TV companies, the Tennessee Savings & Loan League, the Teamsters Union’s Central States Pension Fund, and a Baltimore-based business coalition that lobbied for federal grants.  Then in 1992 he was elected senator representing Tennessee in Washington, D.C.  He served eight years.


He then changed careers and became an actor for NBC television’s Law and Order where he stayed for five years. 


In 2007 he was released from his contract with NBC in order to run for the 2008 Republican nomination for President of the United States. 


He is a member of the church of Christ.  He states that his values come from “sitting around the kitchen table” with his parents, and from the church.  He lives in Virginia.