Tumyr grew up in Ask in Askøy, from where he moved in 1950. He took a baker's education in 1952, and started as a journalist apprentice in the newspaper Nordlands Framtid in Bodø in 1956. In 1960 he was hired as subeditor in Sunnmøre Arbeideravis, and from 1961 to 1970 he was a journalist in Bergens Arbeiderblad. In 1970 he was hired as editor-in-chief of the Larvik-based newspaper Nybrott. From 1984 to 1986 he edited the newspaper Sørlandet. He published a newspaper called Ukeavisen Aktuelt from 1986 to 1988, a weekly and free newspaper, unusual in Norway at the time.
Tumyr founded the Bergen chapter of the Norwegian Humanist Association in 1967, and is a self-declared Atheist. He later became leader of the Vest-Agder chapter of the same organization. He was in 1999, however, forced to withdraw from his position after his immigration-critical comment, titled "Stopp islamiseringen av Norge" ("Stop the Islamisation of Norway"), in the newspaper Fædrelandsvennen. The Norwegian Humanist Association was in 2005 convicted by Oslo District Court of defamatory comments against Tumyr, written in a letter to the editor of Fædrelandsvennen by a board member of the Vest-Agder chapter. Arne Tumyr was for a long time a member of the Norwegian Labour Party, but later changed to the Progress Party, of which he for a period was leader of the party's local Kristiansand group. He is today no longer member of any political party.
Tumyr has since 2007 been chairman of the organization Stop Islamisation of Norway (then Forum against islamisation). He has described the "Islamic ideology" as "diabolical". Among others, Stop the Islamisation of Norway and Tumyr have been involved in demonstrations which turned into minor street clashes.
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