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James Hoyt Phillips was born on January 4, 1911 in Irvington, New York. His father, John Frank Phillips, was born in 1880 in Brooklyn. His mother, Harriet Hammond Hoyt, was born in 1880 in NY. His parents married on October 30, 1907 in NYC. They had four children, John Frank Phillips, Jr. (b.1908), James Hoyt Phillips (b.1911), Robert Cranford Phillips (b.1912), and Harriet Hoyt Phillips (b.1918). The family lived in Irvington, NY. The father, a graduate of Amherst, was a lawyer with his own practice in NYC at 43 Cedar Street in Lower Manhattan.

They family also spent a part of every year on Long Island at the maternal estate, the Hoyt House, on Great South Bay, off Bellhaven Road in Bellport, NY. The twenty-four-acre property included an eleven-room brick and shingle home, which was built by the Hoyt family in 1885. The home was on the highest point of the property, which overlooked the bay and ocean. Among the family treasures that decorated the home was a portrait of the artist's great-great-great-grandmother, Sally Woodbury Bradley. The father was a member of the Bellport Bay Yacht Club.

In the summer of 1913 James Hoyt Phillips was photographed in his stroller with his nanny on a windy day at the north edge of the property.

In 1915 the family bought a mansion at 11 Woodland Avenue in Tarrytown, NY.

On July 16, 1916 The Brooklyn Eagle newspaper reported that James Hoyt Phillips, five years old, had been saved from drowning by the alert captain of the family yacht, The Loralo.

In June of 1929 James Hoyt Phillips, at the age of eighteen, graduated from Tabor Academy, an elite prepartory school.

In September of 1929 he began to attend college, where he became interested in a career as an artist.

By 1934 James Hoyt Phillips had finished his art training and begun to work as a professional artist. He signed his work "Jim Phillips" or "J. H. Phillips."

In 1937 J. H. Phillips painted both covers for the innovative pulp magazine Don Winslow Of The Navy from Merwil Publishing Company at 480 Lexington Avenue. The artist received printed credit on the contents page, "Cover Design by J. H. Phillips." The interior illustrations were drawn by Pete Costanza. The magazine was owned by Harry Donenfeld and edited by Merle Williams Hersey, the first syllables of whose first and middle names provided the company name, "Merwil." A full-page advertisement for Don Winslow Of The Navy also appeared in the premier issue of The Lone Ranger Magazine, which was produced by the same company.

On March 20, 1939 The Brooklyn Eagle reported that James Hoyt Phillips and his younger Robert Cranford Phillips had acted as the ushers at their sister's wedding to John Frederick Reeves at Christ Church in Tarrytown, NY.

On November 20, 1939 The Daily News of Tarrytown, NY, reported that James Hoyt Phillips had contributed an oil painting to a group exhibition of local artists at the home of Captain & Mrs. Victor Willoughby Barrett of Dobbs Ferry, NY.

On January 25, 1941 the artist's brother, Robert Cranford Phillips, married Margaret Joan Mathers of Newport, Rhode Island.

In 1942 the artist drew features for Blue Ribbon Comics, which was produced by Blue Ribbon Publications. That company was owned by Louis Silberkleit, John Goldwater and Maurice Coyne. Jim Phillips went on to draw The Black Witch, Kardak the Magician, Mr. Justice, The Witch's Cauldron, and Zambini for Zip Comics and Top-Notch Comics, which were also produced by the same company.

On March 30, 1944 the artist's father, John Frank Phillips, died at the age of sixty-one in St. Luke's Hospital in NYC.

By 1944 the artist was drafted for military service during WWII, and served in the United States Naval Reserve.

The younger brother, Robert Cranford Phillips, graduated from Harvard and served in the Naval Air Transport Service in Miami, Florida. After the war he and his wife settled in Marblehead, Massachusetts, where they raised two children, Robert Cranford Phillips, Jr. (b.1943), and Nancy Mathers Phillips (b.1947).

After the war Jim Phillips did not resume his career as an illustrator, although he did continue to paint seascapes. He returned to live with his widowed mother at Hoyt-Phillips House in Bellport, NY, where his older brother, John Frank Phillips, Jr., also lived with his wife and daughter, Mary Hoyt Phillips (b.1934).

On November 15, 1956 The Patchogue Advance reported that the artist's aunt, Mary Fellows Hoyt, of Bellport, NY, had died on October 9th and left more than $20,000 in savings and over $20,000 in real estate to her sister's four children in equal shares.

On April 11, 1960 the artist's mother, Hammond Hoyt Phillips, died at the age of eighty.

On May 31, 1962 The Long Island Advance reported that the Hoyt-Phillips family estate in Bellport, NY, had been sold to a developer for construction of the new boat basin.

On October 31, 1972 the artist's older brother, John Frank Phillips, Jr., died at the age of sixty-one in Patchogue, NY.

James Hoyt Phillips died in Riverhead Hospital at the age of eighty-three on April 13, 1994.

                              © David Saunders 2017

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