Thomas E. Shields was born on 9 May 1862 at Mendota, Minnesota, and died on 15 February 1921 in Washington, D.C. His parents had emigrated from Ireland in 1850 and settled as farmers in the expanding territory of the Northwest. He graduated from the College of St. Francis in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in 1885, and from the Seminary of St. Thomas Aquinas in St. Paul, Minnesota, in 1891. He was ordained a Catholic priest the same year. Shields then received an MA in theology from St. Mary's Seminary in Baltimore in 1892, and a PhD in biology from Johns Hopkins University in 1895.
From The Dictionary of Modern American Philosophers in Oxford Reference.