Olympic Games Gold Medalist Athlete. A noted track and field star of the 1940s, he earned a Gold Medal in the shot put at the 1948 Summer Olympic Games in London, England. Raised in the Central Valley of Northern California, he was a stand-out shot putter at Modesto High School, where he was a state champion, and at Modesto Junior College before attending the University of Southern California (USC) where he was part of the school's 1942 NCAA champion track and field team. Following service in the United States Army during World War II he returned to USC and took 2nd place in the 1946 NCAA tournament; at the 1948 London Olympics he threw the 16-pound shot 56'2", breaking the then-record by three feet and taking Gold for the United States. After earning a master's degree in petroleum engineering from USC, Thompson settled in Long Beach, California in 1953, for many years worked for Richfield Oil, and served with the California State Lands Commission until his 1991 retirement. He lived out his days in Southern California and died of the effects of heart disease and advanced age.
Bio by: Bob Hufford