Thomas P. Anderle was born on May 24, 1935, in Lake Linden, Michigan and attended the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. Upon graduation he became a commissioned officer in the United States Navy and spent three years serving in the Pacific on destroyers.
In 1964 Judge Anderle graduated from the Loyola University School of Law and began clerking for Justice John J. Ford of the California Court of Appeal. In 1965 he became a Deputy County Counsel in Santa Barbara County and in 1968 he joined a private law partnership. In 1977 he opened his own law practice focusing on water law, education law, and family law. Judge Anderle was a sole practitioner until he was appointed by Governor Pete Wilson to the judiciary in December 1997. He closed his law practice and took the bench in February 1998. Judge Anderle is a former president of the Santa Barbara County Bar Association, a past Director and President of the Legal Aid Foundation, and a past member and President of the Santa Barbara County Board of Education.