Alex Thompson was the founder and first executive director of Bayfront NATO’s Martin Luther King Center, located at 312 Chestnut Street in the heart of historic Jerusalem. “Alex’s leap of faith,” as Fred Rush called the establishment of the center, has been well realized thanks to his leadership. For more than two decades, Thompson led the organization in its mission to improve the quality of life for Erie citizens in all areas—economic development, cultural enrichment, health care, housing, recreation, and neighborhood revitalization. Thompson was long involved in a number of civic initiatives, including his organizing of the Erie County Black Democrats, which helped prepare the future success of African Americans seeking political office. The Alex W. Thompson Apartment Complex for seniors on West 3rd Street honors his legacy.