Tommy G. Thompson has dedicated his life and career to public service, first as a state lawmaker from his hometown of Elroy, Wisconsin, followed by an unprecedented four terms as Governor of Wisconsin and four years as the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
As Governor of Wisconsin from 1987 to 2001, Thompson repeatedly cut taxes while holding the line on state spending. Under Thompson, Wisconsin led the nation in moving tens of thousands of families off of the dependence on a welfare check to the independence of a paycheck. He removed government from the schoolhouse door for thousands of minority students in Milwaukee by allowing them to choose where they go to school - no matter where they live or how much money their families earn. He gave hard-working families access to affordable health care by expanding coverage to tens of thousands hard-working families who lacked insurance but made too much money to qualify for government health programs.
Thompson took that willingness to innovate and ability to get things done to Washington as the Secretary of Health and Human Services from 2001 to 2005. Thompson led the way in rebuilding our nation's crumbling public health infrastructure after 9/11. He worked tirelessly to provide prescription drug coverage to our nation's seniors once and for all. And as Chairman of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, he was the driving force in America's unprecedented investment to stop the spread of AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria around the world.
Thompson, now a senior partner in a law firm and heading a health care think tank, announced in December that he formed an exploratory committee as he considers a run for President in 2008.
Thompson was born in Elroy, Wisconsin, where his father ran a gas station and country grocery store. He and his wife Sue Ann have three children - Kelli, Tommi and Jason - and five grandchildren.