Kevin Phillips was born in New York City in 1940, and educated at Colgate University (A.B., 1961), the University of Edinburgh (Scotland) and Harvard Law School (J.D., 1964).
From 1964 to 1968, he was administrative assistant to U.S. Rep. Paul Fino (R,NY). Then in 1968, he became the principal election and voting patterns analyst for the Republican presidential campaign, thereafter serving (1969-70) as special assistant to the U.S. Attorney General. Between 1970 and 1983, Phillips was a nationally syndicated columnist for King Features.
From 1970 to 1998, he was president of the American Political Research Corp. and editor-publisher of the American Political Report and the Business & Public Affairs Fortnightly. Between 1979 and 1983, he was a political consultant to Paine Webber Mitchell Hutchins and then to Smith Barney Harris Upham (1984 to 1990). From 1984 to 2004, he was a monthly columnist for the Los Angeles Times, and during the same time period, he was a commentator for National Public Radio. Between 1978 and 1990, he was a commentator for CBS Radio News, and also served as an election year commentator for CBS Television News in 1984, 1988, 1992 and 1996. He has also written occasionally for Time and Harper's.
Kevin Phillips became nationally known in 1969 for his first book, The Emerging Republican Majority, which was described as ”the political bible of the Nixon era.” In 1982, the Wall Street Journal identified him as “the man who predicted the Emerging Republican Majority, invented the Sun Belt and named the New Right.” Since 1969, he has written 13 other books, including five national bestsellers.
He is married (1968) to the former Martha Henderson, and they live in Litchfield County, Connecticut.