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The Honorable Myron Thompson

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Information about The Honorable Myron Thompson

Profile image of The Honorable Myron Thompson

Profession

Category:
LawMakers
Occupation(s):
Federal District Court Judge

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
None
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Mexico City, Mexico
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
1/7/1947
Birth Location:
Tuskegee, Alabama

Profession

Category:
LawMakers
Occupation(s):
Federal District Court Judge

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
None
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Mexico City, Mexico
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
1/7/1947
Birth Location:
Tuskegee
See how The Honorable Myron Thompson is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Federal District Court Judge Myron Herbert Thompson was born on January 7, 1947 in Tuskegee, Alabama to Lawrence and Lillian Thompson. At age two, Thompson contracted polio and spent much of his time alone, finding solace in jazz and classical music. He attended Tuskegee Institute High School where he was named class salutatorian in 1965. Thompson received his B.A. degree in political science from Yale University in 1969 and his J.D. degree from Yale Law School in 1972.

After graduation, Thompson became the first African American Assistant Attorney General for the State of Alabama. He served in this position for two years before going into private practice in Dothan, Alabama. Thompson’s firm handled labor law, civil rights, school desegregation, sex discrimination and First Amendment cases.

President Jimmy Carter nominated Thompson to the bench of the United States District Court, Middle District of Alabama. He was confirmed by the U.S. Senate and received his appointment in September of 1980. At age thirty-three, he was the youngest member of the bench. Thompson served as Chief Justice from 1991 to 1998.

Thompson presides over the same court room where many landmark civil rights cases were argued and decided. He had the court restored to stand as a testament to history. Thompson also made national headlines when he ordered Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore to remove a monument of the Ten Commandments from the rotunda of the State of Alabama’s courthouse. He remains as much of an active legal scholar as his position permits, often calling for the executive and legislative branches to accept more responsibility for constitutional oversight that too often is left as the responsibility of judges. Thompson has served on the bench for twenty-seven years.

Myron Thompson was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 20, 2007.

See how The Honorable Myron Thompson is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Myron Thompson's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Myron Thompson lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Myron Thompson describes his father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Myron Thompson talks about his father's occupations and interests
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Myron Thompson describes his maternal grandparents, pt. 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Myron Thompson describes his maternal grandparents, pt. 2
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Myron Thompson remembers his maternal step-grandmother
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Myron Thompson describes his mother's experience at the Tuskegee Institute in Tuskegee, Alabama
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Myron Thompson shares his experience contracting polio in 1949
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Myron Thompson remembers being treated for polio at the Tuskegee Institute in Tuskegee, Alabama
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Myron Thompson describes the impact that polio had on his childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Myron Thompson shares the lessons he learned from his mother, pt. 1
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Myron Thompson shares the lessons he learned from his mother, pt. 2
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Myron Thompson talks about his step-father and the Butler Chapel A.M.E. Zion Church in Tuskegee, Alabama
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Myron Thompson describes the impact of moving from the Tuskegee Institute to the Butler Chapel A.M.E. Zion Church in Tuskegee, Alabama
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Myron Thompson recalls his experience riding on the bus to Tuskegee Institute High School
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Myron Thompson describes the sights, sounds, and smells of his childhood
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Myron Thompson talks about his brother, Lawrence Thompson, Jr.
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Myron Thompson describes the activities he participated in with the group Jack and Jill
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Myron Thompson describes his experience at Tuskegee Institute High School, pt. 1
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Myron Thompson describes his experience at Tuskegee Institute High School, pt. 2
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Myron Thompson reflects on his lack of Civil Rights involvement in high school
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Myron Thompson recalls visiting colleges and his decision to attend Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Myron Thompson describes adjusting to the environment of Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Myron Thompson reflects on his time at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Myron Thompson describes his introduction to culture at the Tuskegee Institute in Tuskegee, Alabama
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Myron Thompson reflects on his lack of political involvement at Yale Law School
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Myron Thompson recalls becoming involved with the trial of Black Panther Bobby Seale
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Myron Thompson recalls becoming the Assistant Attorney General for the State of Alabama
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Myron Thompson describes his experience in private law practice in Dothan, Alabama
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Myron Thompson recalls working with Federal District Court Judge Frank Minis Johnson, Jr., pt. 1
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Myron Thompson recalls working with Federal District Court Judge Frank Minis Johnson, Jr., pt. 2
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Myron Thompson recalls his appointment as a Federal District Court Judge, pt. 1
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Myron Thompson recalls his appointment as a Federal District Court Judge, pt. 2
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Myron Thompson reflects on becoming a Federal District Court Judge
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Myron Thompson recalls his first decision, in a case of use of deadly force by a police officer
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Myron Thompson describes a his judicial decision on the special education system in Alabama
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Myron Thompson recalls ordering Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore to remove a monument of the Ten Commandments from the Alabama Judicial Building
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Myron Thompson talks about some of the discrimination cases he decided as a Federal District Court Judge in Alabama
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Myron Thompson describes his prison and voting rights cases
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Myron Thompson talks about his family
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Myron Thompson shares his message for future generations
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Myron Thompson reflects upon his lack of regrets and his plans for the future
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Myron Thompson talks about his relationship with other judges and balancing his work and home life
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Myron Thompson reflects upon his legacy