Thank you, Juneau County, for Tommy Thompson. He is one of Wisconsin’s most colorful and accomplished public figures.
Thompson grew up in the small town of Elroy. His father ran the local grocery store and instilled in him a strong work ethic. His mother was a teacher and taught him kindness for others. With only a grocery bag of clothes, Thompson came to UW–Madison in 1959. Thompson earned his bachelor’s and law degrees from the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 1963 and 1966, respectively. Fresh out of law school, he won a seat in the Wisconsin State Assembly in 1966. He went on to become the longest-serving governor in state history and later joined the George W. Bush administration as the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services.
Thompson and Doug Moe — the coauthor of his autobiography, My Journey of a Lifetime — discuss Thompson’s passion for this state and its people. Thompson also reflects on his accomplishments as governor, his unfailing support of the state’s flagship university, and how he changed a president’s mind about stem cell research.