Former Sen. Fred Thompson dies at age 73

Published 9:06 am Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Fred Thompson

Fred Thompson

Fred Thompson, a former U.S. senator, Watergate attorney and actor passed away at his Nashville home on Saturday following a battle with cancer. He was 73.
Thompson was first diagnosed with lymphoma in 2004. His latest illness was a recurrence of the disease according to a statement released by Thompson’s family.
As a politician, Thompson served the state of Tennessee in the U.S. Senate from 1994 to 2003. He later made a brief run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008.
An attorney by profession, Thompson was involved in the Watergate investigation. Former U.S. Sen. Howard Baker, who was the ranking Republican on the Senate Watergate Committee investigating President Richard Nixon, secured a job for Thompson as the committee counsel. Thompson was 30 at the time.
“I am saddened by the death of my friend, Senator Fred Thompson. Senator Thompson rose from humble beginnings to national prominence through hard work and perseverance,” U.S. Rep. Phil Roe said. “Fred dedicated much of his life to serving the state of Tennessee and this great country, and my thoughts and prayers are with his family and loved ones.”
Roe was just one of many elected officials who expressed their grief at learning of Thompson’s death.
“Fred Thompson served the people of Tennessee and America with great honor and distinction,” U.S. Senator Bob Corker said. “From the courtroom to Capitol Hill to Hollywood, his larger than life personality was infectious and had a way of making all of those around him strive to be better.”
“Through his many different roles in public life, Fred never forgot where he came from, and our state and country miss his common sense approach to public service,” he added. “I greatly appreciated his friendship and am saddened to learn of his passing. Elizabeth and I extend our thoughts and prayers to his wife, Jeri, the Thompson family and all those who were impacted by Fred’s life.”
Many of the politicians who shared their memories of Thompson spoke of his service to his state and nation as well as his character.
“Very few people can light up the room the way Fred Thompson did,” said U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander. “He used his magic as a lawyer, actor, Watergate counsel, and United States senator to become one of our country’s most principled and effective public servants.”
“He was my friend for nearly fifty years,” Alexander added. “I will miss him greatly. Honey and I and our entire family send our love and sympathy to Jeri and the Thompson family.”
In addition to his work as a public servant, Thompson was also well known for his work as an actor, appearing in a number of film and television roles. Perhaps his most notable and memorable role in his acting career was his work with the Law & Order television series from 2002-2007 where he portrayed District Attorney Arthur Branch in a recurring role. The character played by Thompson appeared in the original Law & Order franchise as well as several of the show’s spin-offs such as Law & Order: Criminal Intent and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.

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