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Will L. Thompson was born 11/7/1847, East Liverpool, OH – He wrote “Softly and Tenderly Jesus is Calling.”  Son of an Ohio Legislator, he studied at Mount Union College in Ohio, at Boston Conservatory of Music, and in Leipzig, Germany.  He started his own publishing company, Will L. Thompson & Co. and expanded to sell pianos, organs & sheet music.

Thompson travel  by buggy throughout Ohio singing his songs for people.  He gained considerable wealth with his business adventures but never lost his quiet unassuming Christian character.  It is said that on his deathbed while being visited by Mr. Thompson, Moody feebly whispered, “Will, I would rather have written ’Softly and Tenderly’ than anything I have been able to do in my whole life.”  Thompson died 9/20/1909.            

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