Thomas Hal Phillips

Thomas Hal Phillips (October 11, 1922–April 3, 2007) was an American actor and screenwriter. Born in Corinth in Alcorn County in northeastern Mississippi, Phillips graduated in 1943 with a Bachelor of Science degree from Mississippi State College. He served in the United States Navy during World War II. In 1948, he earned a master's degree in writing at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. He then taught at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, and wrote books. In 1959, he was appointed by Democratic Governor James P. Coleman to the Mississippi Public Service Commission to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Phillips' younger brother, attorney Rubel Phillips. In 1963, Hal Phillips managed his brother's unsuccessful Republican gubernatorial campaign against the Democrat Paul B. Johnson, Jr. Phillips was one of the first published gay authors in the United States. His novel The Bitterweed Path was a best seller in its first edition from Penguin Press. The Bitterweed Path depicts the struggles of two gay men in the Southern United States at the turn of the century.


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