Tom Toles was born in Buffalo, New York. He began his career working for local newspapers like the Buffalo Courier-Express (1973-82) and the Buffalo News (1982-2002). Between 1992 and 1994, he made the comic strip 'Curious Avenue'. In 2002, he became an editorial cartoonist for the Washington Post, where he replaced Herblock. Toles wrote the 1997 children's book 'My School Is Worse Than Yours'.