Tom Gallagher was born in Alexandria on February 16 1934. After his schooling he trained as a draughtsman and worked at Denny's Shipyard in Dumbarton (an experience that was to provide him with the source material for his work The Apprentice (1983).
Ultimately however Gallagher was more influenced by his mother's love of language and the spoken word, and commenced on a new career as a journalist - starting work at the local Helensburgh Advertiser. Whilst writing professionally and locally, he also wrote a series of articles for the County Reporter which were later published under the title 'Hunting Shadows'
Tom also discovered at this time that he had a talent for writing plays, realised during his time as a producer with the Dumbarton People's Theatre. During the 1950's he successfully produced several productions including Harvey, The Glass Menagerie, The Wind and the Rain and A Man for All Seasons . His love of the theatre and his passion for words led him becoming a full time playwright, settling in London for four years before returning to Garelochhead, Scotland.
Gallagher also wrote for television and was a great proponent for the arts. He was a founding member of The Scottish Society of Playwrights at the Netherbow Theatre; established in response to a need for a co-ordinated voice for playwrights to be heard in Scottish theatre and to act as a playwriting development and promotional agency.