Jerry Thompson is one of the most decorated track athletes in Texas history. Thompson’s success started early in high school, where he won the state mile run in 1941 and continued into college at the University of Texas. The Bowie, Texas, native won the NCAA two-mile championship in 1943 but put his track career on hold to serve in World War Two as a part of the Navy.
Thompson returned to win another two national titles in 1947, again in the two-mile run and in 1948 in the 5,000-meter event. Thompson was also a Southwest Conference champion in 1947 and 1948, winning the 800-yard dash, the mile and the two-mile.
Thompson went on to become a member of the 1948 U.S. Olympic team, where he ran the 5,000-meter event. He was inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame in 1976.