Sam Thompson first met Elvis in November 1972. At the time Elvis was dating Sam's sister Linda Thompson. As an officer with the Shelby County Sheriff's Department, Elvis and Sam became fast friends.
In July 1973, Elvis purchased a home for Sam less than a mile from the gates of Graceland. Sam travelled with Elvis on the road tours from 1972 until 1976 as Elvis' friend and companion.
In July 1976, Sam went to work full time for Elvis, as his personal bodyguard and tour advance man, providing security for Elvis at Graceland, his other homes in California and on all the road tours, including hotel and airport security.
Sam was present at the recording sessions of eight albums and accompanied Elvis on 10 separate road tours, comprising approximately 130 separate concert and stage performances.
Sam returned to his position with the Shelby County Sheriff's Department on September 1, 1977. He later graduated Law School at the University of Memphis in 1984.