One of Australia's eminent literary scholars, a writer and editor of poetry, fiction, drama and criticism, Tom Inglis Moore was educated at Sydney Grammar School and the universities of Sydney and Oxford. He taught English in the United States from 1926-28 and in Manila at the University of the Philippines 1928-31. He lived in Sydney from 1931, and became leader writer on the Sydney Morning Herald from 1934-40. After serving in the AIF from 1940-45, Moore went to Canberra and lectured in Pacific Studies at the then Canberra University College (now the ANU). He was a member of the Commonwealth Literary Advisory Board, President of the Fellowship of Australian Writers Sydney (1934-35) and Canberra (1952-53). His critical work includes: Six Australian Poets and Social Patterns in Australian Literature (1971). His creative writing includes the novel The Halfway Sun: A Tale of the Philippine Islands (1935), and a book of verse Adagio in Blue (1938). His poetry has popular appeal for its themes of love and war in an Australian context.
The claim has been made that Moore, H. M. Green (q.v.) and E. Morris Miller (q.v.) were instrumental in establishing Australian literature as a subject worthy of academic and scholarly attention. During the 1940s Moore pioneered the study and teaching of Australian literature in universities. In 1953 he was responsible for the establishment of the first full course in Australian literature (at the Australian National University), a course he supervised as Associate Professor until his retirement in 1966. Moore was awarded an OBE in recognition of his contribution as a pioneer teacher of Australian literature and as one of its earliest scholarly critics. Moore's papers at the National Library reveal a wide network with other Australian writers, many of whom became his friends, including Robert D. Fitzgerald, Miles Franklin, Mary Gilmore, Xavier Herbert and Alan Marshall (qq.v.).