Tom Gentleman was born in Coatbridge, Lanarkshire. He served with the Glasgow Yeomanry and Scottish Rifles during World War I and was badly wounded. On his return to civilian life he resumed his studies at Glasgow School of Art. Gentleman moved to London in 1929, married (he was the father of David Gentleman) and began working in advertising; during World War II he worked for the Ministry of Information designing leaflets and posters to support the war effort. Gentleman became a Fellow of the Society of Industrial Artists. He wrote and illustrated Brae Farm, a memoir of his Scottish childhood., Contributed to the School Prints`series and painted a mural for the Kardomah Café in Paris.