Mildred Thompson was born in Jacksonville, FL. She earned a BFA from Howard University and also studied at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture as well as the Brooklyn Museum Art School.
From 1958 to 1961, she studied at the Hochschule für bildende Künste in Hamburg, Germany, where she learned different printmaking techniques. Mildred was interested in metaphysics, spirituality and astronomy and visually re-imagined scientific theories and systems that are invisible to the eye. Due to the racism and sexism she experienced in the United States, Thompson became an American expat in Germany and France for years. There, she created bodies of work and exhibited. In 1987, she began a career as an associate editor for the magazine ART PAPERS in Atlanta, GA until early 2000s.