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Jim Thompson Overview
James Harrison Wilson "Jim" Thompson (born March 21, 1906 in Greenville, Delaware - unknown) was an American businessman who helped revitalize the Thai silk and textile industry in the 1950s and 1960s. A former U.S. military intelligence officer who once worked for the Office of Strategic Services.
Jim Thompson was the youngest of five children of Henry and Mary Thompson, a wealthy Delaware couple. Jim's father was involved in the textile business. Jim was educated at St. Paul's School and Princeton University. Though Thompson studied architecture at the University of Pennsylvania, he never received his degree and was therefore unable to pass the NY Architecture Board examination. Nevertheless, he practiced in New York City with Holden McLaughlin, designing summer homes and a band shell in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.
During the 1930s, he led an active social life and sat on the board of the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, all the while becoming more politically active. His increasingly liberal politics alienated him from his wealthy Republican family, and by 1940 he had sought escape from them by military service, first in the Delaware National Guard and then in the Officer Training Corps of the United States Army.