Thompson, Samantha

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.