Tom Coats was born in The Dalles and raised in Sherman County. After graduating from the University of Oregon he joined the Army where he served as a lieutenant in the Military Police. When he finished with his services from the Army, Tom attended law school at the University of Oregon.
Shortly after graduation, Tom was appointed District Attorney for Wheeler County by then Governor Tom McCall. He spent three years as a prosecutor and then Tom resigned to attend the University of Miami School of Law, where he earned an LLM degree in estate planning.
Tom has been in private practice in The Dalles since, where his practice has focused on estate planning, estates, and real property transactions.
Tom is married, and has two children and three grandchildren.