Mr. Thompson is chairman of Thompson Realty Co., which he founded in 1959, and retired chairman and chief executive officer of Thompson Tractor, which he established in 1957.
After service in WWII, Mr. Thomas returned to his native Tennessee in 1946 to resume studies at Vanderbilt University. He also began work at General Truck Sales, founded by his father. In 1957 he left his post as executive vice president and general manager and acquired the North Alabama dealership for Caterpillar.
Thompson Tractor Co. became one of the nation’s most successful Caterpillar dealerships.
In 1958, Mr. Thompson took the chief executive officers of all Birmingham banks on a tour of interstate highway projects in Blount and Cullman counties, showing them what ultramodern machinery was to accomplish as Alabama’s portion of the nation’s highways was built.
As the bankers learned about the capital required for projects of that magnitude, Mr. Thompson set the stage for major bank participation.
In 1978 he received an honorary Doctor of Law degree from UAB and in 1982, an honorary Doctor of Humanities degree from Samford University. In 2004 he was inducted into the Alabama Academy of Honor.