Tom Cotton studied until 1998 at Harvard University and then in 1998 and 1999 at the Claremont Graduate University in California. After a subsequent law degree at Harvard and his 2002 was admitted to the bar he began to work in this profession. In 2002 and 2003 he was a law clerk at the Federal Court of Appeals for the Fifth District Court. Between 2004 and 2009 he served in the U.S. Army. He was used among other things in Iraq. Besides his activities as a lawyer, he is also a business consultant and farmer. Politically, he joined the Republican Party.
In the congressional elections of 2012, Cotton was in the fourth electoral district of Arkansas with 59:37 percent of the vote against State Senator Gene Jeffress in the U.S. House of Representatives in Washington DC chosen, where he became the successor of not more candidates Democrat Mike Ross on January 3, 2013. Thus, all four seats of the state for the first time held by Republicans since Reconstruction.