More Fred Thompson Bios & Profiles
Biography #2 (for Law & Order)Fred Thompson, former United States Senator, prosecutor and accomplished film and television actor, recently joined the cast of the Emmy Award-winning drama series Law & Order as the newly-elected District Attorney, Arthur Branch.
Fred Thompson's service in the United States Senate was a continuation of a distinguished career across both the public and private arenas. In his first campaign for public office, Thompson was elected by the people of Tennessee in 1994 to the remaining two years of an unexpired Senate term. When he was returned for a full term in 1996, he received more votes than any previous candidate for any office in Tennessee history. In 1997, Thompson was elected Chairman of the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs, making him among the most junior senators in history to serve as Chairman of a major Senate Committee.
Prior to his election to the U.S. Senate, Thompson maintained law offices in Nashville and Washington and served as Special Counsel to both the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. He is also the author of the Watergate memoir, At That Point in Time. Having grown up in Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, Thompson attended Memphis State University, where he earned an undergraduate degree in philosophy and political science. He went on to receive a law degree from Vanderbilt University. Two years later, Thompson was named an Assistant United States Attorney and, at the age of 30, was appointed Minority Counsel to the Senate Watergate Committee, where he served in 1973 and 1974.
In 1977, Thompson took on the case of a Tennessee Parole Board chairman under suspicious circumstances. Thompson's work helped to expose a cash-for-clemency scheme that ultimately toppled the governor. The scandal became the subject of a best-selling book and later a film, Marie, in which Thompson portrayed himself. He went on to appear in 18 motion pictures, including feature roles in Cape Fear, In the Line of Fire, Die Hard II, and The Hunt for Red October. He has also guest starred on the television series, China Beach, Wiseguy, and Matlock.
In 1994, Thompson was elected to the United States Senate, reelected in 1996 and chose not to run for reelection in 2002. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.