Dr. George Thompson, Ph.D

Our Founder and the Creator of Verbal Judo

The late George J. Thompson PH.D. (1941-2011) created the internationally recognized training program in Tactical Communication known as “Verbal Judo.” He authored the bestselling book, “Verbal Judo The Gentle Art of Persuasion.” Verbal Judo has been featured on NBC, ABC, & CBS News, CNN, 48 Hours, Inside Edition, LETN, In the Line of Duty, and Fox news, as well as in the LA Times, NY Post, New York Times, Sacramento Bee, and many other publications. 

Dr. Thompson, aka “Doc Rhino,” had an eclectic background, having taught English on the High School level (4 yrs.), English Literature on the university level (10 yrs.), and served as a full and part-time police officer. Doc Thompson received his B.A. from Colgate University (1963), his Masters and Doctorate degrees in English from the University of Connecticut (1972), and he completed post-doctoral work at Princeton University in Rhetoric & Persuasion (1979). He was an avid martial artist who held Black Belts in Judo & Taekwondo. Out of his interests in rhetoric, martial arts and law enforcement, Doc created the only true Tactical Communication Course in the world, Verbal Judo. Over his life, Doc taught over one million police officers his program and to this day, his Verbal Judo course is required training for police officers in numerous states across the country. Dr. Thompson wrote four books on Verbal Judo, each analyzing ways to defuse conflict and redirect behavior into more positive channels. In addition to books on Verbal Judo, there are numerous video and audio programs featuring Doc and his teachings. In addition, Dr. Thompson wrote Hammett’s Moral Vision, the book publication of his doctoral thesis. Over thirty years ago, Doc founded The Verbal Judo Institute a de-escalation and leadership training firm based in Auburn, NY. The institute has branch offices in Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and a team of instructors in the United States. A cadre of highly trained instructors continue Doc’s legacy by teaching Verbal Judo around the world. Clients of the Institute include school districts, Fortune 500 companies like IBM, Metro Life, GM, Hilton Hotels, numerous government agencies and over a thousand

Law enforcement agencies. Dr. Thompson is survived by his wife, Pam and they are the proud parents of Tommy “Rhino” Thompson.  He is also survived by two grown children, a daughter Kelly, and a son, Taylor.

2023 Dr. George J. Thompson Memorial Scholarship

Congratulations to Camryn Duff and Jenna Baugh, winners of Dr. George J. Thompson’s Memorial Scholarship 2023!