Born and raised in Boston, a graduate of Harvard College, Thomas Farber is third of four children of Sidney and Norma Farber. Norma Farber, accomplished singer, actress, and poet, was the author of more than thirty books, among them several for "the young of all ages", including the celebrated As I Was Crossing Boston Common and How Does It Feel To Be Old? Sidney Farber, world-famous pioneer in the chemotherapy of cancer, was professor of pathology at Harvard Medical School. The hospital he founded for the care of children with cancer, first of its kind, is the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.