Rep. Bennie Thompson (Mississippi)Homeland Security Committee
- Bennie Thompson was born in 1948 and grew up in Bolton, Miss. He eventually became the mayor of that town in 1973 and still lives there (population 629) with his college sweetheart wife, London Johnson.
- Thompson picked cotton during the school year as a child and attended an all-black elementary school, the Bolton Colored School.
- He graduated from Tougaloo College with a degree in political science in 1968 and worked as a teacher for four years. He also earned a master's in educational administration from Jackson State University.
- Thompson was one of the original plaintiffs in the 1975 Ayers v. Waller lawsuit filed to increase funding to Mississippi's historically black public universities: Alcorn State, Jackson State, and Mississippi Valley State. The case finally concluded in 2004 when the Supreme Court refused to hear any more appeals, and the state was able to begin distributing the $503 million settlement, agreed upon in 2002.
- In 1993, after 13 years on the Hinds County Board of Supervisors, he became the second African-American elected to Congress from Mississippi since Reconstruction. He won the seat formerly held by Mike Espy, who had been the first and who left Congress to become secretary of agriculture under President Bill Clinton.
- Before coming to Washington, Thompson was a volunteer fireman. In 2005, he was appointed ranking member on the Homeland Security Committee.
- He is the longest-serving African-American elected official in the state of Mississippi.
- His official biography mentions hobbies of "hunting, gardening, reading, and music."
- He and his wife have one daughter, BendaLonne, one granddaughter, Jeanna, and one grandson, Thomas Gordon.