Coming to Princeton from Cleveland, Ohio, Tom majored in classics and was active in the Aquinas Center and in forensics. After graduation, he earned a degree in classical philology at Harvard. Heading westward, he taught at UCLA and the University of California, Berkeley, before settling at the University of Southern California. He was chair of the classics department there for 15 years, despite a 2006 diagnosis of stage-four liver cancer. Fortunately, its remission gave him another decade of teaching, research, and friendship.
From his undergraduate days, Tom achieved distinction in the study of the classical world. The excitement of his scholarship went hand in hand with his capacity to inspire students.
Shortly after graduation from Princeton, Tom married Shulamith Philosoph ’75; their marriage ended in divorce in 1997. Tom is survived by their twin children, Jacob and Nadja; and by his domestic partner, Hector Reyes, a colleague at USC.
As an echo of Cicero, Tom had written, “Death is nothing to fear and may even be a positive thing.” The class’s sympathy and good wishes attend his family.