Thomas Sheilds Clarke was born in 1860 to Charles J. and Louisa Semple Clarke. He was brother to Louis S. Clarke. He was a charter member of the South Fork Fishing and Hunting Club and an attorney by profession. His father and brother were also members.
Clarke was an accomplished artist with a wide variety of talents including sculptor and painter. Some of his early works were displayed in a gallery at his father's home in Pittsburgh, which was considered one of the finest in all of Pittsburgh. He studied at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris after graduating from Princeton. One of his famous paintings, "A Fool's Fool", is on display at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia. His sculpture, "Cider Press" is on display in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. Clarke was a member of the Royal Society of Art in London. His works have been featured in exhibits across the world.