JANUARY 31, 2000

MORRIS “MORRIE” THOMPSON BORN–KOYUKON ATHABASKAN LEADER, BUSINESSMAN

Born in Tanana, Alaska, on September 11, 1939, “Morrie,” after graduating from the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, first worked at RCA’s Gilmore Satellite Tracking Station. A good friend of Governor Walter Hickel, he went to Washington when President Nixon named Hickel as Secretary of the Interior in 1969 and served as Hickel’s special assistant. In 1970, Thompson became the youngest Commissioner of the Bureau of Indian Affairs at age 34. Morris was a former president of the Alaska Federation of Natives and founding Vice-President of Commonwealth North. In 1981, he became Vice-President of Doyon Limited Regional Corporation, his Alaskan Native Claims Settlement Act Regional Corporation and, in October 1985, was appointed its President and Chief Officer. Thompson took Doyon from being $28 million in the red in 1985 to $70.9 million in annual revenues when he retired in 1999.  Tragically, he, his wife, and daughter died in an airplane crash.

Source:  "Morris Thompson," Wayback Machine: Alaska Federation of Natives, 4/27/2003.  Retrieved 7/13/2019, https://web.archive.org/web/20030427170326/http://www.nativefederation.org/history/people/mThompson.html
Photo: RadioKAOS, 5/23/2011.  Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitors Center.  Permissive Use. 

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