Tom was born and raised in Anaheim, in the 69th Assembly District. He attended four local schools, starting in kindergarden at Lincoln Elementary, then moving on to St. Anthony’s, Sycamore Junior High and Anaheim High. All of these schools are in the 69th  District.

His father worked as a Latin and English teacher at Anaheim High, and both his parents were active in civic affairs, especially activities involving education and youth. His father gave swimming lessons and taught night school to augment the family income, so Tom’s mother could be at home with Tom and his younger sister.

As a youngster, Tom was an All-Star player in the North Anaheim Little League, at Edison Park and Pioneer Park (both parks are in the 69th).

Tom delivered two local newspapers, the Anaheim Bulletin and the Anaheim Independent, in the central Anaheim area on his bicycle, as an after-school and weekend job, when he was ten- and eleven-years old.

At Anaheim High, Tom was editor of the school newspaper and was a pitcher on the Varsity Baseball Team, producing one of the leading records among Orange County pitchers. His academic record and other accomplishments earned him a scholarship to Harvard University in 1972, where he graduated four years later in 1976.

Tom first sought elective office in 1986, winning election to the Board of Trustees of the Anaheim Union High School District. Since that victory, he has won eight elections for City Council (1988), Mayor (1992, 1994 and 1998), and County Clerk-Recorder (2002, 2006 and 2010).

His 1994 re-election as Mayor set a record for the most votes ever received by an Anaheim Mayor. In his 2010 countywide re-election as the Clerk-Recorder, Tom set a record with the highest countywide winning percentage in fifty years (in contested races.)

He was named Orange County’s Manager of the Year for 2010 by the Society for the Advancement of Management. Last year, his department was honored with a Bright Ideas in Government award for “creative and innovative” customer service by the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. Also, for the first time in his department’s history, Daly opened two branch offices for the convenience of the public. The two branch offices together save the department’s customers over one million miles of driving annually.