Born on April Fools Day, 1953 in Bloomington, Indiana, Tom is the son of Jacob Gabbay,  a history teacher, and Susan Davis, a librarian. The second of four children, Tom misspent his youth in the small town of Liverpool, New York, playing football and avoiding truant officers.   He left Central New York in 1971 to attend Colorado State University in Fort Collins. In February of his freshman year, Tom joined some friends for a weekend of Mardi Gras in New Orleans and never returned to class.


That summer, he departed for Europe, where he attended L'Ecole des Beaux Arts in Avignon, France. Backpacking through Europe that year, he enrolled in the Heatherly School of Fine Art in London where he studied painting and drawing. He spent days copying paintings in the National Gallery, nights watching Peter Cooke and Dudley Moore perform in "Beyond The Fridge" at the Cambridge Theatre, where he worked as an usher.

In 1974 Tom returned to the United States to attend the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts to study classical painting and sculpture. While at the the Academy, Tom contributed weekly political cartoons to the editorial page of the Philadelphia Daily News.

Upon completing the four-year degree at the Academy, Tom spent a year studying film and animation at the Philadelphia College of Art. He earned a BFA  in 1978.

Tom moved to New York City in 1979 to pursue his interest in film. From his loft on Crosby Street in Soho, he directed a series of award-winning animated shorts for the innovative children's program, "Sesame Street" and went on to direct commercials and music videos.

In 1985 Tom took up the position of Director of Children's Programs for NBC television. Two years later he became Director of Comedy Programs at NBC, overseeing the production of well known sitcoms such as "Cheers" and "Family Ties".

In 1990, Tom returned to London in order to run NBC's European production division. He left NBC in 1993 to become Executive Producer of "The Wanderer,"  a 13-hour drama series shot in Salzburg, Munich, Madrid and London. Since 1996, Tom has written several screenplays for film and television, working with companies like Fox, Warner Brothers, BBC, Bertelsmann (UFA) and Hallmark Productions.

Tom has published four novels: "The Berlin Conspiracy” (2006) “The Lisbon Crossing” (2007), “The Tehran Conviction” (2009), and “Access Point” (2020).