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Jeri Kehn and Fred Thompson Marriage Profile


Photo: Paul Hawthorne / Getty Images

Fred and Jeri Thompson in New York City, June 28, 2004.

Photo: Paul Hawthorne / Getty Images
The May-December marriage of Jeri Kehn and Fred Thompson captured the attention of the media as Jeri assumed an active role in Fred's presidential campaign.

Here is more information on how Jeri and Fred met, their wedding, children, and more.

News Updates:

9/05/07: Fred Thompson made his official presidential candidacy announcement on Tonight Show with Jay Leno: "That's one thing I wanted to talk to you about. I'm running for president of the United States."
Source: Carla Marinucci. "Fred Thompson finally joins the presidential pack." SFGate.com. 9/6/07.


Frederick Dalton Thompson: August 19, 1942 in Sheffield, Alabama.

Jeri Kehn: Some reports have her birth date as in January 1967 and others list September 30, 1966. Jeri was born in Hastings, Nebraska.

How Fred and Jeri Met:

Jeri and Fred met on July 4, 1996 at a BBQ in Nashville, Tennessee. They became a couple in 1999.
According to USN, "Jeri and Fred met in a Nashville grocery store checkout line on July 4, 1996. Fred, who was in line with a can of beanie weenies, carried her groceries, and she invited him to a party."
Source: Bobbie Kyle. "Ten Things You Didn't Know About Jeri Kehn Thompson." USNews.com. 12/20/2007.
Jeri: "We were serious [that -- 1999] spring, broke up in June, got back together on his birthday in August, and have been together since."
Source: Ian Bishop. "Babe Wife, 40, Boosts Goper, 64." NYPost.com. 6/1/07.

Wedding Date:

Fred and Jeri were married on June 29, 2002 at the First Congregational United Church of Christ in Naperville, Illinois. At their small ceremony Jeri wore a short, white Valentino wedding gown and carried a small bouquet of calla lilies. They had approximately 12 guests.

Fred's brother Ken Thompson served as best man. Rev. Gregory Schneck-Skiba was the officiant at the wedding.

Jeri and Fred honeymooned in France.

Previous Marriages:

Fred has one previous marriage.
  • Sara Elizabeth Lindsey: Married September 12, 1959 (when he was 17 and still in high school) in Lawrenceburg, Tennessee. They had three children before divorcing in 1985.
After reviewing public records, Newsweek presumed Jeri was previously married to Bernard T. "Chip" Alvey of Owensboro, Kentucky. Fred Thompson has stated, "Things that you would think could have been checked fairly readily, but things that are clearly erroneous —- like she’s not a lawyer and she’s never been married before."
Source: Bryon York. "Fred Thompson: Criticism of My Wife Should Be Directed at Me." NationalReview.com. 8/6/07.


Fred has five children and several grandchildren.
  • Frederick Dalton (Tony) Thompson Jr: Born April 1960. His mother is Sarah Lindsey Thompson.
  • Daniel Thompson: Born April 1965. His mother is Sarah Lindsey Thompson.
  • Elizabeth (Betsy) Thompson Panici: Born March 13, 1963. Betsy died at the age of 38 from an accidental prescription drug overdose on January 30, 2002. Her mother is Sarah Lindsey Thompson.
  • Hayden Victoria Thompson: Born in October 2003. Her mother is Jeri Kehn Thompson.
  • Samuel Thompson: Born in 2007. His mother is Jeri Kehn Thompson.

Occupations, Religion, Residences:

Fred: Actor, former Senator from Tennessee, lawyer, lobbyist, radio contributor, and author.

Jeri: Former political and media consultant, former Senate aide.


Fred is a member of the Churches of Christ.


Nashville, Tennessee and McLean, Virginia.

Quotes About the Marriage of Jeri and Fred Thompson:

Fred about Jeri: “She always looks out for my best interests, and when she sees something that she knows I would not approve of, or is not in my best interest, she voices that concern — in other words, just exactly the way I would want her to."
Source: Bryon York. "Fred Thompson: Criticism of My Wife Should Be Directed at Me." NationalReview.com. 8/6/07.

Susan Saulny, journalist: "Now, with the possible candidacy of Fred D. Thompson, the grandfatherly actor and former Republican senator from Tennessee, whose second wife is almost a quarter-century his junior, comes a less palatable inquiry that is spurring debate in Internet chat rooms, on cable television and on talk radio: Is America ready for a president with a trophy wife?"
Source: Susan Saulny. "Will Her Face Determine His Fortune?" NYTimes.com. 8/8/07.

Vicki Keller. Jeri's mother, at their wedding: "I think he will be a calming influence, and she will be good for him."
Source: Alec MacGillis and John Solomon. "The Rise of Jeri Thompson." WashingtonPost.com. 8/5/07.

Victoria Toensing: "They've been a team since they got married."
Source: Alec MacGillis and John Solomon. "The Rise of Jeri Thompson." WashingtonPost.com. 8/5/07.

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