- Shelby Foote: Novelist and Historian(1992) University Press of Mississippi
- Editor, The Mississippi Quarterly
Born May 4, 1940 in Wadesboro, North Carolina, Phillips is the son of banker Robert LeRoy and teacher Mary Holland Phillips. Phillips received a B. A. from Davidson College in 1962; an M. A. from the University of North Carolina in 1963, and in 1970 he attained his Ph.D. from UNC. From 1963-1965 Phillips served in the U.S. Army in Germany, becoming a lieutenant. In the U .S. Army Reserve, he became captain.
Robert Phillips married Lucy McIntyre, a music teacher, on December 27, 1967. They have three children: Robert McIntyre, Shandy Llewellyn, and ______________. Phillips began his teaching career in 1969 as an instructor at the North Carolina Central University in Durham. He moved to Starkville in 1970 and began teaching English at Mississippi State University where he also edits the Mississippi Quarterly Review.
In 1992 Phillips wrote Shelby Foote, Novelist and Historian. The book was printed by University Press of Mississippi in Jackson. He also wrote Antebellum Mississippi Stories for the Mississippi Library Commission in 1976. In addition, he was the author of “A Climate for Genius,” a series for Mississippi Authority Educational Television network and editor of Newsletter of the Society for the Study of Southern Literature.