Alexis Thompson was born into money, with his father being the President of the Inland Steel Company. Thompson attended Yale where he played on the soccer and lacrosse teams. In addition to his field hockey appearance at the 1936 Olympics, he competed internationally in bobsledding at the 1939 World Championships. He later became chairman of the Billy Fiske Memorial Committee, which gave trophies to the winners of the US 4-man bobsled championship. In 1940, Alexis Thompson used his inherited wealth to head a syndicate that purchased the Pittsburgh Steelers of the NFL. The next year the Steelers exchanged franchises with the Philadelphia Eagles, and Thompson remained an owner of the Eagles thru 1949.