American James Harrison Wilson Thompson was the father of the Thai silk industry.
An officer in the American Office of Strategic Services (OSS), a group that acted as spies in World War II, Thompson came on a mission to Thailand in late 1945.
He immediately fell in love with the country and became infatuated with the colourful Thai silk.
Thompson had a huge impact on the Thai silk industry. He tried to make Thai silk more modern by introducing new colours and decorative styles. He also thought of new marketing plans to increase its popularity. His business took off when his silk was commissioned for the Broadway production of the King and I. After that, the fame of Thai silk spread worldwide.
Thompson's presumed death is shrouded in mystery. On vacation in Malaysia in 1967, he disappeared on a remote jungle road never to be seen again.
-- From Nation Junior