Thomson was born in Torrumbarry, Victoria, and studied at Christian Brothers College in St Kilda East, and at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. One of his ancestors was named Arturo Dell'Oro, and came from Domodossola, in northern Italy. He is married to Wang Ping, the daughter of a general in the Chinese People's Liberation Army.
Thomson started work as a copyboy at The Herald (now the Herald Sun) in Melbourne in 1979. In 1983 he became senior feature writer for The Sydney Morning Herald, and two years later became Beijing correspondent for The Sydney Morning Herald as well as the Financial Times. Thomson was appointed the Financial Times foreign news editor in 1994 and in 1996 became editor of the Financial Times weekend edition. In 1998, Thomson became U.S. managing editor of the Financial Times.
Since January 2013 Thomson has been chief executive of News Corp. From May 2008 he was managing editor of the Wall Street Journal, and before that was editor of The Times. He received an honorary doctorate from RMIT University in 2010.
- Auletta, Ken (4 April 2011). "Murdoch's Best Friend". The New Yorker.
- "'Rupert has got a crush on you'". The Sydney Morning Herald. 23 March 2013.
- "Robert J. Thomson all'inaugurazione di Palazzo San Francesco. Donati 50.000 dollari. - Mariano Cattrini". Archived from the original on 29 November 2014.
- "Rupert Murdoch and Robert Thomson: A Tale of the Tape". New York. 25 April 2008.
- Private Eye magazine, No. 1189, 20 July - 2 August 2007, p.7
- Arango, Tim (28 April 2008). "Murdoch's 'Head of Content'". New York Times.
- Interview conducted by Paul Gough (29 November 2014). "Interview with Robert Thomson: Media Man". RMIT Alumni Magazine. RMIT. Retrieved 29 November 2014.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Robert James Thomson.|
- Robert Thomson lecture online: From the editorial desk of The Times, RMIT School of Applied Communication Public Lecture series
| Editor of The Times