Thomas Hooker (July 5, 1586 – July 7, 1647) was a prominent Puritan religious and colonial leader remembered as one of the founders of the Colony of Connecticut.

Born at Marefield, Leicestershire, England, he fled first Holland and then to New England in 1633 on the ship Griffin to escape the persecution of Archbishop William Laud for non-conformity. He was appointed the first pastor of the church at Newtown, Massachusetts (now Cambridge). He is attributed as being the first minister of the First Parish in Cambridge, a church that still exists in the present day. His home was on a plot of land which today is part of the yard at Harvard College.

In 1636, he led his congregation west to found the new settlement at Hartford, Connecticut. He is also remembered for his role in creating the “Fundamental Orders of Connecticut”. This document is considered the world’s first written constitution, and a direct ancestor of the U.S. Constitution. Thomas Hooker founded Connecticut in 1636. The colony prospered.