Gerald R. Toner was born and raised in Ft. Thomas, Kentucky, a city on the hills and bluffs of the Ohio River in the northern part of the state. Toner was educated at Harvard University and Vanderbilt Law School, relocating to Louisville, Kentucky afterwards to practice
Toner says, “I took up law in part from a desire to re-create my family history, insofar as my maternal
grandfather, who died five years before my birth, was a lawyer, and partially
from watching Perry Mason.” Toner's father, who had gone to work in a steel
foundry when he was fourteen years old, wanted a secure occupation for his son, steering him away from a career in writing and towards the law. Having done well in school and desiring both to please his father and to be able to feed himself, he pursued law as a profession and an occupation, and writing as an avocation and a release.
When Toner's children were born,
and time outside the home became less desirable, he began to cultivate his
ever-present interest in creative writing, particularly the writing of short
stories. Always a lover of Christmas, many of his stories were devoted to the
magic of the Christmas season, and the ephemeral spirit of Christmas that
pervades even the most cynical during the time between Thanksgiving and New Year's. After much hard work, several of his stories were chosen and published in various magazines, including The Saturday Evening Post and Redbook.
Toner is a member of the church
elders of his local Presbyterian church, a member of the Harvard Club of
Kentucky and the Louisville Economic Development Corporation, and has been on the boards of other community groups over the past dozen years. He cites as the most significant and satisfying accomplishment in his life the raising of his family.