A native of Mobile, Alabama, Leslie Thompson earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Auburn University. His first experience with art was in the second grade when his pastel drawing of a Gloucester Schooner was chosen for international exchange in the Jaycee Art Auction, which raised funds for the Mobile Museum of Art. The drawing eventually was exhibited in Paris, France. As a student at Auburn, Thompson travelled to Spain and attended the Universidad de Madrid.
After completing his studies at Auburn, Thompson apprenticed in an art studio in Mobile where he received instruction in printmaking from Mr. Claude Karch. Most of his etchings are historical in subject matter, and he researches his material from university and museum archives. To date, he has completed almost forty intaglio plates dealing with Southern history and related themes.