Thomas Augustine O'Toole was born in Chicago and grew up in a devout Catholic family with five brothers and two sisters. After attending Catholic grammar and high school, he was accepted into the University of Notre Dame. Tom majored in English, but also made the Irish varsity tennis team as a walk-on (a feat statistically rarer than Rudy's) and was also the sports editor of Notre Dame's Scholastic magazine, where his story “Reflections on the Game” won the award for Best Sports Feature for the Indiana Collegiate Press Association.

Upon graduation, Tom worked with both writing and teaching. He has taught in the Catholic (as a youth minister and CCD teacher) and public (including jobs in elementary, middle and high school, as well as special ed) sectors, and continues as a sports instructor and coach for the Lombard Park District.

Besides his work as a columnist for several suburban newspapers, Tom O'Toole is also a popular freelance writer for many Catholic magazines, including Columbia, The Catholic Faith, Queen of All Hearts, and Culture Wars. His innovative writings on the connection between faith and sports ("Cathletics") has been praised by the Papal Nuncio, and his groundbreaking book Champions of Faith: Catholic Sports Heroes Tell Their Stories is one of the original volumes to be placed on the Vatican shelves where the Pontifical Council of Church and Sport meet. In 2006, Tom published a number of articles on the prestigious Catholic Exchange website, and started his blog Fighting Irish Thomas which has been praised for its Catholic candor and humor.

Tom O'Toole lives in the Chicago area, with his wife of thirty-two years, Jeanette. They have four children; John-31, Gary-30, Patrick-29, and Therese-26, as well as two black cats, a lab named "Bella," a shelter-save, "Addy," (and two turtles).

Tom can be reached at