Known for his activism on behalf of conservative political causes, he served as president of Americans for Prosperity, a group that successfully pushed for Republican control of the United States House of Representatives during the 2010 election cycle.
After studying briefly at Liberty University in Virginia, he earned a bachelor's degree in political science from Virginia Tech.
Under Phillips' leadership, Americans for Prosperity grew to encompass fifty chapters and over two million members. He is also famous as a prominent member of the early 21st Century conservative Tea Party movement.
A native of Spartanburg, South Carolina, he later settled in Virginia. His marriage to Julia Reider resulted in twin boys, as well as another son and a daughter.
He and fellow Republican Matthew Hill both became affiliated with the Tea Party movement.