Melvin E. Thompson, Acting Governor, 1947-1949, was born in Millen, Jenkins County, Georgia, in 1903. After a career as educator and public servant, Thompson was elected Lieutenant Governor for the term beginning January, 1947. Following the death of Governor-Elect Eugene Talmadge, shortly before his inauguration, Thompson became Acting Governor until the next scheduled general election.
During his term as Acting Governor, one of his contributions to the state was the acquiring of Jekyll Island for $675,000. The state acquired Jekyll Island by a court condemnation decree, a bargain which has been compared to the original purchase of Manhattan Island. Jekyll Island has proved to be one of Georgia's greatest assets as a year round resort area.