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Jim Thompson (Silk King)
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    (March 21, 1906-March 26, 1967)
    Born in Greenville, Delaware
    Co-founder of the Thai Silk Company (1951)
    Disappeared during a vacation in the Cameron Highlands of Malaysia
    He was enigmatic and secretive. (Not too surprising given later evidence that he was working for the CIA.)
    At the time of his disappearance, he was conducting an affair with a diplomat's wife.
    He was also being questioned by Thai authorities about how he had acquired some of the indigenous sculptures he displayed in his house.
    A massive manhunt turned up no clues.
    His disappearance inspired a lot of theories, from the straightforward (suicide) to the elaborate (kidnapped by Communists, spirited out of the country and brainwashed).
    During World War II, he worked for American intelligence as liason with the French resistance in North Africa.
    He was credited with revitalizing the Thai silk industry after the war.
    He was described as 'the best known foreigner in Bangkok, and possibly in Southeast Asia.'
    He opposed the American foreign policy of supporting dictators as long as they professed anti-Communism and scoffed at the Domino Theory.
    His house became a museum of Asian art and one of the most popular tourist destinations in Thailand.

Credit: C. Fishel

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