Former state Rep. Garfield Thompson, a Democrat who rose from dining car waiter and courthouse custodian to become a friend and confidant to some of the most powerful people in the country, died Wednesday night following a short illness, as reported by the Star-Telegram. He was 89.

One of Mr. Thompson's first jobs after the war was working as a dining car waiter for the Burlington-Rock Island Railroad. He then took a job as a custodian at the Tarrant County Courthouse.

When he wasn't sweeping floors, he was swiftly becoming a strong advocate of workers' rights, ultimately becoming union president for the county's employees. Word spread quickly of Mr. Thompson's skills as a civil rights activist and supporter of the working class.

To read the full article highlighting Rep. Garfield Thompson, click here.