Who is Bennie Thompson?
Thompson was born on January 28, 1948
He has been the chair of the Committee on Homeland Security since 2019
His political career began with registering fellow African Americans to vote in the segregated South
Mississippi Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson is the chairman of the select committee investigating the Jan 6 insurrection. The House select committee investigating the 2021 attack on the US Capitol building is planning to hold six hearings in June, with the first one on June 9.
Thompson was born on January 28, 1948. He attended Hinds County public schools before earning a B.A. in political science from Tougaloo College in 1968 and an M.S. in educational administration from Jackson State University in 1973.
He served as an alderman and then mayor of Bolton before being elected to the Hinds County Board of Supervisors.
He has served as a representative for Mississippi's 2nd congressional district since 1993.
Thompson, who is a civil rights pioneer, has been the chair of the Committee on Homeland Security since 2019 and from 2007 to 2011. He was both the first Democrat and the first African American to chair the committee. His political career began with registering fellow African Americans to vote in the segregated South.
He is the dean of Mississippi's congressional delegation. Since 2011, Thompson has been the only Democrat in Mississippi's congressional delegation.
His district includes most of Jackson and is the only majority-black district in the state.
He views the work of the January 6 committee in the same lines as his work in the civil rights struggle.
"Our democracy is at stake," he told CNN. "We have to defend our democracy. We have to defend our government." Talking about the attack, he said that the experience recalled the “unpleasant experiences” from his early days as a Black politician in the South.
Thompson is married to London Johnson of Mound Bayou, Mississippi. He has a daughter, BendaLonne, a granddaughter, Jeanna, and a grandson, Thomas.
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He is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity (Gamma Rho – Tougaloo College) and a lifetime member of the Asbury United Methodist Church in Bolton.