December 2, 1954 |
Texas City, Texas, U.S.
|Alma mater||Yale University|
|Home town||St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.|
Stone Stockton Phillips (born December 2, 1954) is an Emmy Award-winning American television reporter and correspondent. He is best known as the former co-anchor of Dateline NBC, a newsmagazine TV show. He also has worked as a substitute anchor for NBC Nightly News and Today and as a substitute moderator on Meet the Press. Prior to his tenure at NBC, he was an ABC News correspondent for 20/20 and World News Tonight. He is known for his clear delivery and gravitas which was satirized by Phillips himself in appearances on The Colbert Report.
Early life and education
Stone Phillips was born in Texas City, Texas to parents Victor and Grace Phillips, a Monsanto chemical engineer and school teacher respectively. Victor Phillips is a veteran of World War II. Stone Phillips and his siblings -- brother Victor III and sister Minta -- were raised in the Greater St. Louis, Missouri area, the Claymont section of Ballwin specifically. As a boy Phillips was an acolyte at St. Martin's Episcopal Church in Ellisville, Missouri, where his parents were founding members of the congregation. Phillips attended Parkway West High School in Ballwin, Missouri where he was an honor student and starting quarterback on the football team.
Following high school graduation in 1973 Phillips was accepted to Yale University where he continued to excel in both academics and athletics. In 1976 he was starting quarterback for the Yale Bulldogs as they won the Ivy League football championship. Academically he was a member of Yale's Scroll and Key secret society and earned the university's prestigious F. Gordon Brown Award for outstanding academic and athletic leadership. Stone Phillips graduated with honors from Yale in 1977, earning a Bachelor's degree in philosophy.
After graduating from Yale, Stone Phillips moved to Atlanta, Georgia where he worked as a remedial reading and math teacher at the Fulton County Juvenile Detention Center. He was supplementing his pay by moonlighting as a waiter when he landed an entry-level news position at WXIA-TV, the local NBC affiliate. In 1980, after less than two years as a reporter, writer and broadcast producer in Atlanta, Phillips was hired by ABC News to be an assignment editor for their Washington, D.C. news bureau. In 1982 he began filing stories as an on air correspondent for ABC, covering such major events as the American involvement as peacekeepers in the Lebanese Civil War, the exodus of Vietnamese boat people in the mid-1980s, and the assassination of Indira Gandhi. In 1986 Phillips was promoted to a regular role on the ABC news magazine 20/20. Beginning that year he also served as a substitute host on Good Morning America, and a sports anchor for ABC’s World News Sunday.
Phillips ended his twelve year relationship with ABC in 1992, joinng NBC News to serve as co-anchor with Jane Pauley on Dateline NBC. While at NBC News, Phillips also hosted Weekend Magazine with Stone Phillips. He conducted a long list of notable interviews during his time with NBC. Among them was the first network interview with Lynndie England, the U.S. Army soldier, about her role in the Abu Ghraib prison scandal. Others included a February, 1994 interview with notorious serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer, Russian President Boris Yeltsin, and Bernhard Goetz (a man who shot four black teenagers in the New York City Subway). The latter earned Phillips an Emmy Award for Outstanding Interview. Phillips co-anchored Dateline NBC from its inception until July 2, 2007, when NBC, in a cost-cutting move, did not renew his $7 million contract.
On October 17, 2005, Phillips was a guest on the premiere episode of The Colbert Report. Phillips' delivery was part of the inspiration for comedian Stephen Colbert's persona on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.
In May 2013 Stone Phillips produced and hosted Moving with Grace, a PBS documentary that chronicled his efforts and those of his siblings to provide care for their aging parents. It also explored various issues faced by other baby boomers in similar circumstance.
Phillips lives in New York with his wife, Debra, who is afflicted with Multiple Sclerosis. Debra Del Toro-Phillips is Puerto Rican by birth but moved to New York City as a child. After a successful career in the fashion industry she returned to college and earned a Masters degree in Psychology.
The couple has one living child, son Streeter Phillips, born in 1988. A daughter was born in August, 1995, but died that same month. His brother, Victor, is an ecologist while sister Minta is a radiologist residing in North Carolina. His parents are still living as of May, 2013 though his mother has late onset Alzheimer's disease. They reside in an assisted living facility in North Carolina near his sister.
- Palermo, Gregg (8 May 2013). "Stone Phillips documentary chronicles care for his parents". Ballwin-Ellisville Patch online newspaper. Retrieved 14 September 2013.
- Riggs, Thomas (2004). Contemporary Theatre, Film and Television 55. Gale / Cengage Learning. p. 233. ISBN 9780787670986.
- "NNDB Bio". Soylent Communications. 2013. Retrieved 11 September 2013.
- Brown, John W. (2008). Missouri Legends: Famous people from the Show-Me State. St. Louis: Reedy Press. pp. 215 216.
- "NBC Dateline". 2013. Retrieved 11 September 2013.
- http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/stephen-colbert-reveals-month-long-604364, 46 mins 45 seconds into The Paul Mercurio Show audio file at the bottom of this Hollywood Reporter web page
- STONE PHILLIPS EXAMINES GOLF COURSE WATER USAGE CONCERNS AND CONSERVATION EFFORTS ON NEW EPISODE OF IN PLAY WITH JIMMY ROBERTS, TUESDAY, JULY 30 AT 10:30 P.M. ET Retrieved August 1, 2013.
- Morgan, John (24 May 2001). "Hollywood Stars keep hope alive to cure MS". USA Today.com. Retrieved 15 September 2013.