Who Is Fred Thompson, The Man Kellyanne Conway Dated Before Ex-Husband George?

Kellyanne Conway, who was once an adviser and campaign manager for former president Donald Trump, was under scrutiny by the news media while married to activist and lawyer George T. Conway III because of their differing opinions. Although both are Republicans, he disagreed with her political views because he didn't support Trump. They divorced in March 2023, and while people have wondered if she started dating again, someone close to her told Rallshe in October 2023 that "Her focus is currently on her divorce and her children. That's where her attention is, not on dating."

Prior to her marriage, Kellyanne dated actor and politician Fred Dalton Thompson, which was rumored to have been a move to enhance her social standing. While it's unclear precisely when the two became romantically entangled, their connection likely started when Thompson was a client of her research and consulting business, The Polling Company/WomanTrend, when he was a senator.

Thompson, who died from lymphoma in 2004, was a man of many talents who began as a lawyer. His Tennessee upbringing shaped his worldview, and he was instrumental in investigating former President Richard Nixon during the Watergate scandal, which led to the disgraced leader's resignation. In 1977, when some Tennessee prison inmates paid off then-Governor Ray Blanton in exchange for their release, parole administrator Marie Ragghiant was the whistleblower. Thompson represented her, getting her job back along with a settlement.

Thompson was involved in the Watergate investigation

When Fred Thompson died in 2015, Vanderbilt Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos was quoted in his obituary saying, "We all feel the loss of Sen. Thompson. He served his country during a dark, difficult time, and throughout his career, he stood up for what he believed in. We are grateful for his service to our state and to the nation and took great pride in calling him one of our own." His helping Marie Ragghianti became part of Thompson's legacy of service, and the case was chronicled in a book called "Marie" in 1983, which was subsequently adapted as a film of the same title in 1985.

Although the Watergate hearings had been televised, Thompson was more focused on the case than appearing on TV. But when it later came time to make the film "Marie," director Roger Donaldson asked Thompson to play himself in it, with Sissy Spacek in the title role. "To my surprise, they asked if I'd be interested in reading for a part," he told Entertainment Weekly, adding, "I went on a lark and learned it was the part of me. It was totally accidental. I'd never [even] been in a high school play."

Following that movie, Thompson appeared in several hit films, including "No Way Out" (1987) and "The Hunt for Red October" (1990).

Thompson ran for president

Fred Thompson eventually returned to politics and ran for the U.S. Senate in 1994, becoming the Tennessee state senator. Then-senator Al Gore had become the vice president, so Thompson took over for him. He would get elected again in 1996, but in 2002, he opted not to run another time, instead returning to acting where he snagged the role of D.A. Arthur Branch in "Law & Order," as well as several of its spin-off shows, including "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit."

In 2007, Thompson publicly revealed that he had received a non-Hodgkin's lymphoma diagnosis and explained that he was in remission. He also announced his bid to become the Republican candidate for president, going up against fellow Senator John McCain. In 2007, he quit acting to focus on his presidential run. Among the issues he supported were lower taxes, a smaller federal government, and increased defense spending. Thompson withdrew from the race in January 2008 after finishing third in the South Carolina primary.

He released a statement saying, "Today I have withdrawn my candidacy for president of the United States. I hope that my country and my party have benefited from our having made this effort" (via ABC News). He also phoned McCain to inform him of his choice, who in turn publicly stated, "Fred Thompson ran an honorable campaign and I consider him a close friend. I wish him and his family the best."