Araya was employed as a respiratory therapist in the early 1980s and used his earnings to finance Slayer's debut album Show No Mercy. Much of Araya's lyrical content is about serial killers, a subject he finds interesting, first making his lyrical contribution to 1985's Hell Awaits with the track "At Dawn They Sleep".
Early life and career Araya said that he grew up in "a bad neighborhood that was pretty gang-oriented."
Araya's older brother, Cisco, played the guitar. This inspired Araya to pick up the bass at age eight. The two played Beatles and Rolling Stones songs, which he would later cite as an influence on his own music.
In the early 1980s, Araya's eldest sister suggested he enroll in a program to become certified as a respiratory therapist. Araya's father insisted he either find a job or enroll in the course. Araya enrolled in a two-year technical course, learning about air mixture ratios, drawing blood, and how to intubate.
In 1981, Araya was approached by Kerry King, who asked Araya to join his band, Slayer. Araya accepted, using his earnings as a respiratory therapist to finance the band's 1983 debut album Show No Mercy. Araya requested time off of work at the hospital that employed him for Slayer's first European tour in 1984 and was denied; "'We need you to come in today.' They’d call me at 5:00 in the morning and wake me, 'Someone’s not coming in, we need you to come in to work.'" After a month of sporadic attendance, his employers threatened termination; Araya replied "Well, I guess I’m fired."
Araya resides in Buffalo, Texas where he owns a ranch with his wife Sandra Araya and two children, daughter Ariel Asa Araya (b. 11 May 1996) and son Tomas Enrique Araya, Jr. (b. 14 June 1999). He and his wife run a family farm that includes five cows and a chicken coop. Tom reports that he sings country songs to help keep his "singing chops up." Araya and his wife enjoy horror films such as The Amityville Horror and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. The two allow their children to watch horror films, but make it clear to them that it is just a movie when they ask “Is this real?”
In 2006, Araya underwent gall bladder surgery, which disrupted The Unholy Alliance tour. Originally set to launch on June 6, the tour was postponed to June 13. Araya was also unable to finish the vocals for a song entitled "Final Six", which was to be included on Slayer's 2006 album Christ Illusion; later released on the special edition of the album. Araya brought his children on the tour stating "it's kind of cool to expose them at such a young age. My first concert, I was, like, 17." "We [Slayer] have been fortunate- fortunate enough to have lasted as long as we have because a lot of bands don't last that long."
On January 7, 2010, Slayer announced on its official website that back surgery had been scheduled for Tom Araya and that the planned tour would be canceled through April of that year. The website assured fans that the "Slayer camp working hard to reschedule dates for later this year." Araya is known for his aggressive style of headbanging and began experiencing back problems while the band was on tour in Australia/New Zealand/Japan in October 2009. Araya had an Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion. On March 12, 2010, Metal Hammer magazine published an interview with Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo about Tom Araya's recovery in which Lombardo stated that "He’s recovering extremely quickly and really well. He is just moving forward and doing all the treatments and post operation stuff that he has to go through. He’s doing good.” On May 20, 2010, Slayer confirmed that they would play two songs on TV for Jimmy Kimmel Live!
On June 3, 2011, Araya received the keys to the city of his birth, Viña del Mar, Chile.
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Araya accessed 30th May 2013