His parents are Robert and Martha Selleck. His father was born in Slovakia, is Tom's tie to Eastern Europe. Robert is now a real estate investor for Selleck Properties. His mother was a homemaker. Tom was one of three of the Selleck's sons.
He grew up in Sherman Oaks, California, and attended college at the University of Southern California. He was in the Sigma Chi Fraternity. He was once quoted as saying, "Those were friends I made that will last a lifetime". His first intentions of going to college were to be an architect. He love to draw and had a very creative mind. But regardless of what he wanted to do, he wouldn't be an architect. He drug around because he didn't want to leave home. When he finally did leave, he arrived too late at the University of Southern California, and the School of Architecture was already filled to its capacity. He was heartbroken. Since the careers were in alphabetical order, he just went over to the next table and signed up for the School of Acting. He soon found out that he had exceptional amounts of natural ability, and his ambition to become a famous Hollywood actor developed from there. He had dreams of making millions of dollars on the big screen.