Col. Eugene "Gene" Thompson
Retired Army Col. Eugene "Gene" Thompson was born in Oklahoma City to Thomas and Thelma Thompson. He is the grandson to fellow 2013 Hall of Fame inductee Thomas Benjamin Thompson, Sr., and nephew to 1990 inductee Te Ata Thompson Fisher.
Mr. Thompson has dedicated his life serving and protecting both the United States and the Chickasaw Nation. He joined the Oklahoma National Guard at the age of 16. Retiring in 1983, Mr. Thompson earned the Defense Superior Service Medal. This award is presented to senior officers who perform "superior meritorious service in a position of significant responsibility."
While in service, Mr. Thompson obtained both bachelor and master degrees from Oklahoma State University. He was one of 13 students to be chosen by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to attend its entomology program. With help from the USDA, he later became a faculty member through the University of Nebraska Entomology Program.
As a leader in the field of entomology, Mr. Thompson was appointed as executive director of the Armed Forces Pest Management Board. This board recommends policy, procedure and offers guidance on all matters related to pest management. Mr. Thompson developed the first program used by the department of defense to protect its world-wide food and clothing stockpiles. Upon retirement from the Army, Mr. Thompson conducted field studies for the Texas Department of Health.
Mr. Thompson has been active in the Austin, Texas, area as a Chickasaw Nation ambassador and an advocate for Native American culture and history. He speaks at civic organizations, seminaries and schools throughout Texas and Oklahoma about Chickasaw beliefs and practices.
Mr. Thompson was selected to participate in the "I am Very Proud to be Chickasaw" commissioned painting project completed by Chickasaw artist and fellow Hall of Fame inductee, Mike Larsen. The subsequent artwork and biographical sketch of his life were featured in the book "Proud to Be Chickasaw" which was published in 2010.