George Thompson was the founder and owner of the George Thompson Diamond Company, a jewelry store that operated in Ventura County, California, for over four decades. He was well-known for his catchy television commercials, where he would introduce himself as “America’s most trusted name for diamonds”. He died on June 10, 2024, at the age of 70, leaving behind a legacy of business success and philanthropy. In this article, we will explore the life and achievements of George Thompson, and the cause of his death.
Early Life and Career
George Thompson was born on July 15, 1953, in Baltimore, Maryland. He moved to Ventura County with his family when his father was stationed at the Naval Air Station Point Mugu. He attended Channel Islands High School and Buena High School, where he excelled in sports and academics. He then enrolled at Westmont College in Montecito, where he majored in English and planned to become a teacher.
However, his life took a different turn when he started selling jewelry door-to-door as a part-time job. He soon discovered his passion and talent for the business, and decided to pursue it as a career. He founded the George Thompson Diamond Company in 1977, and opened his first store in Oxnard. He later expanded to Camarillo, where he established his flagship store and headquarters.
Thompson became famous for his unique and creative marketing strategies, especially his television ads that aired on local channels. He would often feature his own voice and face, and use catchy slogans and jingles to attract customers. Some of his memorable phrases were “Hi, George Thompson here!”, “Nobody beats George Thompson, nobody!”, and “If you don’t know diamonds, know your jeweler”. He also offered generous discounts, warranties, and financing options to his customers, and claimed to have the largest selection of diamonds in the county.
Thompson was not only a successful businessman, but also a generous philanthropist. He supported various causes and organizations in his community, such as the Oxnard Noontimers Foundation, the Boys and Girls Club, the Salvation Army, and the Ventura County Sheriff’s Foundation. He also donated jewelry and gift certificates to local schools, churches, and charities for their fundraising events. He was known for his kindness, humility, and generosity, and was well-respected and loved by his employees, customers, and peers.
George Thompson Cause of Death and Legacy
George Thompson died on June 10, 2024, at his home in Somis, surrounded by his family. The cause of death was liver cirrhosis, a condition that affects the liver and can be caused by excessive alcohol consumption and smoking. According to his widow, Pauline, who was also his road manager, Thompson had been suffering from stomach pains for a while, but refused to see a doctor. She also said that he had a premonition of his death, and told her that he wanted to be buried in Jamaica, where he had visited several times and loved the culture and people.
Thompson’s funeral was held on June 17, 2024, at the Camarillo Community Church, where he was a member. Hundreds of people attended the service, including his family, friends, employees, customers, and local dignitaries. He was eulogized by his son, George Jr., who took over his role in the company, and by Ventura County Supervisor Kelly Long, who praised his contributions to the county’s economy and society. He was buried at the Conejo Mountain Memorial Park in Camarillo, where his grave was marked by a large diamond-shaped stone.
Thompson’s death was mourned by many people who knew him or were influenced by him. His company posted a tribute on social media, saying that he will be greatly missed by all of them. His customers also expressed their condolences and gratitude, saying that he was more than a jeweler, but a friend and a mentor. His legacy lives on through his company, which continues to operate and serve the community, and through his charitable works, which have made a positive impact on many lives. George Thompson was a jewelry store founder who left behind a shining legacy of business and benevolence. His cause of death was a sad reminder of the health risks that can affect even the most successful and generous people. His life, however, was a testament to the power and joy of jewelry, and the lasting relationships it can create. As he sang in one of his ads, “Diamonds are forever, and so is George Thompson”.