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Samantha Thompson - Governor Jim Thompson Project

In 1978, in the midst of a gubernatorial campaign, Samantha Jayne Thompson became the first child born to a sitting Illinois governor in seventy-two years. As such, Sam’s birth and childhood drew sustained media attention throughout 'Big' Jim Thompson's long tenure as governor. In this interview, Sam reflects on this attention and her experience growing up in the public eye. She also discusses controversy over her appearance on the campaign trail in the 1978, life in the Executive Mansion, her parents’ decision to enroll her in Chicago public schools, living with a protective detail, protests outside the family home, and meeting a host of famous and influential people.

Interview Links

Feature Excerpt

"My Dad's Personality"

Abstract

Interview Session (Audio)

Transcript


Photos

Caption

Governor Jim Thompson holds his daughter Samantha in the hospital shortly after her birth in 1978. Samantha was the first child born to a sitting governor since Bina Deneen’s birth in 1906.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

1978

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

Governor Jim Thompson poses for a photograph with Jayne and a very young Samantha, 1978.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

1978

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

Governor Jim Thompson with his wife, Jayne, and daughter Samantha, 1985.

Where:

Unknown

When:

1985

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

Samantha Thompson on the campaign trail with her father in his campaign for reelection in 1985. Her sign reads “He lives for Illinois” along the side and includes Jim Thompson’s signature.

Where:

Unknown

When:

1985

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

Samantha helping her father campaign in a parade, 1988.

Where:

Unknown

When:

1988

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

Governor Jim Thompson with Jayne and Samantha at the bottom of the Giant Slide at the Illinois State Fair, 1990.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

1990

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

Current photo of Samantha Thompson, circa 2014.

Where:

Unknown

When:

Circa 2014

Ownership:

Narrator's photo



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