Born in Lexington on the 4th of July 1937, Phil grew up attending Lexington public schools. After graduating from Lexington High School in 1955, Phil attended Tulane University in New Orleans where he graduated in 1959 with a BS degree in Economics. The following year he joined the Mississippi National Guard, entered OCS at Ft. Sill, Oklahoma, and was commissioned an artillery officer. In 1964 Phil joined Bache & Co. and worked as a stockbroker in San Antonio, Texas for ten years. In 1975, Phil returned to Lexington to take over Cohen’s Department Store, a family business founded in 1900. He is married to Sara Ann (Sally) Stein of Greenville, Mississippi. They have raised three children in Lexington. In 2017, Phil closed Cohen's Department Store, and he and Sally continue to reside in Lexington where they enjoy retirement.