Fred Thompson, You Will Be Missed—Reverse Mortgage Industry Loses an Icon

The reverse mortgage industry lost a beloved advocate this weekend with the passing of Fred Thompson, who died Sunday following a recurrence of lymphoma, according to a statement issued by his family. He was 73.

Renown within the reverse mortgage world as the spokesman for American Advisors Group (AAG), the former U.S. Senator had become the familiar face of the reverse mortgage product, appearing in many TV spots for the company, describing to the viewers at home in his congenial Tennessean drawl how they can use their home equity to provide for a secure, comfortable retirement.

Thompson, whose illustrious career also spanned a presidential run, a 30-year film career and a recurring role in Law & Order, among many other TV roles, began his time with AAG in 2010. But while Thompson’s advertising campaigns with the company have appeared on many national TV networks, his contributions to AAG—and the reverse mortgage industry—were so much more.

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“He was a tireless industry supporter,” AAG said in a statement issued Sunday evening. “He advised and advocated for policy changes that made reverse mortgage loans a more viable financial planning solution for seniors.”

An outspoken advocate for the product and the industry, Thompson drew from personal experience after seeing how his mother’s life improved with a reverse mortgage.

“We are incredibly proud to have worked alongside such an accomplished man with a remarkable breadth of work,” AAG stated. “Fred imparted credibility, in-depth knowledge and genuine commitment to making a difference in the lives of others. With deep respect and gratitude, AAG will continue to carry out our shared mission of helping American seniors live better in retirement.”

“Fred was a mentor to me and I admired him for his selfless commitment to helping others,” said AAG Chief Executive Officer Reza Jahangiri in a written statement. “He touched my life, like so many others, and will be deeply missed. On behalf of AAG, our thoughts are with Fred’s wife, Jeri, and his entire family.”

Written by Jason Oliva

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  • Fred Thompson lent his credibility to an industry that desperately needed it. Through his efforts, not only did he help AAG but he helped the industry as a whole. Let us not forget the thousands of American Seniors who’s life was changed because of Mr. Thompson. We owe him a great debt of gratitude.

  • The Senator was a man very much respected by his peers within the Republican Party. As a Senator he served his state well. He was a good actor and served AAG and our industry well.

    While the choice of the Senator by AAG was controversial at the time, in his many TV ads, the Senator’s character and honest belief in HECMs showed through. AAG made a good choice for all of us and we all benefited as a result. Senator Thompson will be missed.

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