Dr. Thomas Wayne was one of the most respected patrons in all of Gotham City. He inherited his family's ancestral home Wayne Manor and took charge of the family business Wayne Enterprises. A skilled surgeon and philanthropist, Thomas Wayne also established the charitable Wayne Foundation. He was the husband of socialite Martha Wayne and the father of Bruce Wayne, the future Batman.
Some thirty odd years ago, Thomas and Martha were traveling across the Midwest when they witnessed a glowing light falling from the sky into a nearby field. Thomas went to inspect the item and discovered a strange alien crystal. Upon physical contact with the artifact, his consciousness was transported through space and time to the planet Krypton. There, his astral self met Kryptonian scientist Jor-El. Jor-El explained to Thomas that the item he discovered was a Kryptonian probe, one of dozens that he had sent out throughout various yellow-sun star systems. He told Thomas of the pending destruction of Krypton and that he was searching for a suitable world in which to send his infant son Kal-El. Jor-El instantly developed a fondness and respect for Thomas Wayne and because of him determined that Earth was the perfect world to send his son. He then sent Wayne's subconscious mind back into his body on Earth.
Only a few months later, Thomas and his wife Martha gave birth to their only son, Bruce. Thomas never forgot his astral experience on Krypton and began writing a journal of his experiences. Still in possession of the Kryptonian probe, he reverse-engineered the technology and was able to use some of it to save Wayne Enterprises from bankruptcy. Nobody ever knew about the alien heritage from which the thriving company prospered from. Thomas was careful that his journal would never fall into the wrong hands, so he hid it in a secret grotto in the caverns beneath Wayne Manor. He always intended to give the journal to his son so that he might learn the truth about the family's legacy. 
When Bruce was still a young child, his family attended a costume fundraiser. The theme of the party was "Creatures of the night". Thomas Wayne decided to masquerade as a bat, and wore a costume consisting of a pointed mask, and large, dark blue scalloped wings. The impressionable Bruce admired his father's outfit and openly asked if one day he might be able to wear such a fearsome costume. Thomas had no idea how prophetic the innocent question truly was. 
During the party, several gangsters raided the mansion and recognized that Wayne was a physician. Kidnapping him, they brought him to an old warehouse where he was to perform emergency surgery on mob boss Lew Moxon who had been suffering from a serious gunshot wound.
Wayne knew that once he removed the bullet from Moxon's body, the gangster would likely kill him. Instead of performing the surgery, Thomas dove into the gangsters and managed to apprehend every one of them. He called the police and handed the thugs over to a young police lieutenant named James Gordon. The courts sentenced Moxon to ten years in prison.
Moxon only served a few years in jail and upon release, he decided to pay a visit to Thomas Wayne. With a menacing sneer, he glibly told Wayne that he would find a way to get even with him – even if he had to use somebody else to do his dirty work.
Thomas Wayne was also a close colleague of Roger Elliot, another influential businessman. Together, the Waynes and the Elliots were considered one of "First Families of Gotham". At this time, Bruce Wayne befriended Roger and Marla Elliot's son, Thomas. Thomas Elliot was one of the few friends Bruce ever had as a child. What Bruce didn't know however, was that Tommy Elliot suffered severe pathological tendencies. One evening Tommy Elliot arranged for his parents to die in an automobile accident. Upon hearing the news, Thomas Wayne rushed to Sacred Heart hospital. He was unable to save the life of Roger Elliot, but he did succeed in saving Marla Elliot, though her injuries would require extensive reconstructive surgery. 
A few weeks later, Thomas, Martha and young Bruce were walking home from a night out at the movies. A mugger leapt from the shadows of Park Row and assaulted them, demanding money. Thomas tried to fight back, but the mugger shot him directly in the chest, killing him. He then turned his gun on Martha and viciously ended her life as well. Bruce Wayne stared on in horror, as his parents lay dead beside him. Chill turned and ran from the alleyway. Bruce made a graveside promise that he would bring the lowly killer to justice and avenge their deaths. 
A few years ago, the international eco-terrorist Ra's al Ghul disinterred the Waynes' remains and threatened to immerse them in one of his Lazarus Pits – a side effect of which would be resurrection as a decomposed zombie. Batman infiltrated Ra's stronghold however, and reclaimed his parents' bodies before Ra's could fulfill his scheme. 
Not long after, Bruce Wayne discovered evidence that Thomas may have been unfaithful to Martha and sired an illegitimate child with a woman from Santa Prisca - a child who eventually grew up to become the crime-lord known as Bane. However, it has since been clarified that Bane bears no familial relation to Bruce Wayne. 
Bruce Wayne never discovered the true identity of Thomas Wayne's murderer, although recent evidence suggests that the super-villain known as Metallo may have been involved with the crime, if not directly responsible for the murders of Thomas and Martha Wayne 
- As a child, Thomas was a member of the Green Lantern fan club and his son Bruce (who occasionally works with his father's hero) keeps a autographed picture of ten-year-old Thomas and the Lantern.
- The character of Thomas Wayne was created by writer Bill Finger and artist Bob Kane. Later permutations of the character were developed courtesy of Dennis O'Neil, John Byrne, Frank Miller and John Francis Moore.
- 167 Appearances of Thomas Wayne (New Earth)
- 22 Images featuring Thomas Wayne (New Earth)
- 1 Quotations by or about Thomas Wayne (New Earth)
- Character Gallery: Thomas Wayne (New Earth)
- Dr. Thomas Wayne at dccomics.com
- Dr. Thomas Wayne at Wikipedia.org
- Thomas Wayne article at Wikipedia
- Thomas and Martha Wayne article at the Unofficial Guide to the DC Universe