From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Thompson, Eddie James

(born: December 5, 1935  -  died: October 11, 2016) 

Eddie James Thompson was a professional boxer, a carpenter, and a political activist in northern Kentucky. It is believed that he was the first African American to run for Mayor of Covington, KY, though unsuccessful in his 1979 bid. However, he had been successful in 1963 when he became the first African American admitted to the Carpenters Union in Cincinnati, OH. He was also the founder and owner of his construction company, American Urban Contractors. He was president of the Model Cities Advisory Board in Northern Kentucky in 1972, and the executive director of the Housing and Urban Development Corporation in Northern Kentucky in 1977.

Eddie James Thompson had also been a professional boxer. He fought out of New York and had a record of 17 wins with 6 KOs, 9 losses with 3 KOs, and 2 draws. He fought in the welterweight division and had his debut win in Boston, MA in 1956 against Eddie Connors. His last fight was a loss to George Benton in 1962 in Philadelphia, PA. Most of his fights were in the United States, except a 1960 win in Lombardia [or Lombardy], Italy against Italo Scortichini, and a 1959 loss to Baby Colon in Havana, Cuba.

Eddie James Thompson was a graduate of Lincoln Grant High School in Covington where he played several sports. He attended Kentucky State College (now Kentucky State University) before leaving for his boxing career in New York. He had been Covington's African American boxing champion, having fought at St. Joseph Catholic Church Gym where he was a Golden Gloves Champion in 1956.  Eddie James Thompson was born in Forrest City, AR. When he was three years old his parents, Rev. Eddie Sr. and Mallie Edmonson Thompson moved the family to Covington, KY. In 1940, the family lived in the rear of 341 W. 9th Street, and Eddie C. Thompson was a laborer [source: p.391 in William's Covington (Kenton Co., Ky) City Directory 1940-41].

For more information see Eddie James Thompson in the obituary section of the Mount Vernon News, 10/13/2016; the Eddie Thompson entry in; and the middle column of the "Boxing" entry on p.107 in The Encyclopedia of Northern Kentucky.  

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Kenton County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Covington, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Outside Kentucky Place Name

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Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: William's Covington (Kenton, Co., Ky) City Directory (serial)
NKAA Source: The Encyclopedia of northern Kentucky

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Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Thompson, Eddie James,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed June 23, 2024,

Last modified: 2022-07-18 18:08:39