Thomas S. Tate was a farmer and cartographer, and served as interim Mayor of Birmingham from November to December 1872.
Tate was the son of Samuel Tate, one of the founders of the Elyton Land Company, and of the Hillman Coal & Iron Company.
Tate was appointed to the first Birmingham Board of Aldermen, serving under Robert Henley's administration. Upon Henley's death, he was appointed to complete his term. He ran in the 1872 Birmingham municipal election as an incumbent, but finished last.
In 1883 Tate was one of the leaders of a mob that forced its way into the Jefferson County Courthouse with the goal of lynching Wesley Posey.