Born: July 9, 1933 in Waltham, Massachusetts
Tom Vance enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 1951, serving two years in the combat unit in Korea where he was wounded in action and received two Purple Hearts for his service. Vance then served two years in the Entertainment Unit, as the co-writer and co-producer of a Marine Corps production, “Broadway on the 38th.” The show was successful and cited in The Saturday Evening Post, Life and Look magazines. Upon his return to the United States, Vance took up residence in Beaumont, Texas, where he remains to this day.
The military provided Vance an opportunity to work in the entertainment industry and he continued that work upon his return to civilian life. From 1959 to 1963, Vance produced and hosted a top rated local dance show, “Jive at Five,” which Billboard Magazine rated the No. 2 dance show per capita in the nation.
In 1964, Vance founded The Vance Agency and found himself the personal and business manager of a variety of celebrities and athletes including: Alex Karras, Susan Clark, Dick Butkus, Dan Pastorini, George Plimpton, and Earl Campbell. Vance helped organize the National Football League’s Players’ Association (NFLPA). He has represented the Players’ Association at press conferences, with political contacts and at union negotiations with team owners and also served as its first Public Relations Director.
Vance has been active in a number of charitable organizations including: the Cerebral Palsy Foundation, Muscular Dystrophy Association and the Better Boys Foundation. He served as emcee for the annual Labor Day Telethon in Southeast Texas for Jerry’s Kids. His big heart has urged him on as entertainer, auctioneer, chairperson and fund-raiser for hundreds of civic and charitable events for over 40 years.