Phil Konstantin

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Phil Konstantin
Phil Konstantin in 2007.
Phil Konstantin in 2007.
Morris Phillip Konstantin

ResidenceSan Diego, California
Other namesMorris P. Konstantin,
M.P. Konstantin
Cherokee Nation
EducationSam Rayburn High School,
Pasadena High School
Alma materRice University,
San Diego State University
OccupationComputer operator, reporter, author
Home townHouston, Texas
Spouse(s)Sandra Kay Lewis
(1971-?; divorced),
Deanna Lynn Chambers
(1980-1985; divorced),
Robyn Amsel Mellon
(1997-1999; her death)
ChildrenRonald Parker,
Sarah Beth Nicole,
Heidi Lynn Chambers Blair
FamilyJazlyn Rose

Morris Phillip "Phil" Konstantin (born 1952) is an American journalist and author. He was one of the computer operators who ran the IBM 360, model 75J computers at NASA during the Apollo 16 and Apollo 17 moon landings. He has been a California Highway Patrol officer,[1] a TV reporter and the author of, or contributor to, several books.

Early life[edit]

Phil was born in Houston, Texas in 1952. His parents are Morris Benjamin Konstantin, Jr, and Lila Beatrice Adair. His family (parents and younger brothers Michael and Milton) moved from Houston to Pasadena, Texas in 1961.[citation needed] While in high school, he attended both Sam Rayburn and Pasadena High Schools.[citation needed] He received training in computer systems at Pasadena High, and general education at Sam Rayburn. Graduating in 1971 with a 3.678 (unweighted) grade point average,[citation needed],he was a member of Mu Alpha Theta (National Math Honor Society), and lettered in Choir.[citation needed][2][3]

Attended Rice University, Houston, Texas - 1975—1977. Attended San Diego State University, San Diego, California - 1989—1991 Graduating with a B.A. in Political Science (Dean's List once).[citation needed] Konstantin was listed in Who's Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges in 1977 (Rice) and 1991 (SDSU).


Aerospace industry[edit]

In 1972, Konstantin began his career as a computer operator, working for Lockheed Electronics at the Johnson Space Center in Houston.[4] During his two-and-a-half years with the defense contractor,[citation needed] he operated computers (IBM 360, model 75J)[citation needed] and peripheral equipment directly related to the final two Apollo flights, and all four Skylab missions.[citation needed] This was in the Real Time Computer Complex, directly below the Mission Operations Control Room.[citation needed]

Konstantin (left) with Michael Feinstein (right) in 2010

Broadcasting industry[edit]

Between 1973 and 1979, Konstantin produced and hosted weekly public affairs radio programs through the Houston and Pasadena Jaycees.[citation needed] These thirty- and 60-minute programs aired on several radio stations, including KULF, KYND, KIKK, KILT AND KTRH.[citation needed] He also had a daily talk show on KPAC radio.[citation needed] In 1977, he started a 15-minute interview program for Rice University (titled "To The Point"), which was syndicated through the Texas State radio network.[citation needed] During this time, he also had a minor role in the movie "Futureworld"; his speaking parts were edited out of the movie.[5]

Law enforcement[edit]

In 1985, Konstantin joined the California Highway Patrol as an officer trainee.[citation needed]

Phil Konstantin's MADD Award in 1989.

His first eighteen months were in Los Angeles.[citation needed] He then patrolled the roads of San Diego until 1990.[citation needed] During his time as a patrol officer, kidnapping suspects attempted to discourage him with gunfire.[citation needed] The kidnapped individual was rescued, and no one was hurt in the incident. While a patrol officer, Konstantin received several[citation needed] of the CHP's 10851 Auto Theft Awards.[6] In 1989, Mothers Against Drunk Driving honored him for his efforts to remove impaired drivers from the roads.[citation needed] The year 1990 saw Konstantin transfer into the Public Affairs Department for the CHP's Border Division.[7] Here, he helped organize public-education campaigns, wrote speeches for CHP management, and gave on-air media interviews.[citation needed] In 1997, Konstantin took over the position of Media Information Officer[citation needed] at the newly constructed Transportation Management Center.[8][9] There, he answered media inquiries and gave daily radio and TV traffic reports on KGTV-TV.[10] One of his other projects at the CHP was the creation of puzzles on paper, which officers could offer to bored children while their parents were "occupied". One of these puzzles continues to appear in the CHP's Chipper Coloring Book.[11]

Return to broadcasting[edit]

Konstantin in 2009

Upon retirement from the CHP in 2005,[1] "Officer Phil", as he was then known, began giving daily traffic reports as part of the Good Morning San Diego program at KUSI-TV.[citation needed] He often took photos of celebrities who appeared on the program, posting them to his social media.[12] He was on KSUI's air until October 2009, when he became the assignment editor. In 2010, Konstantin next became a helicopter-based reporter for KGTV-TV.[13] Some of his video reports were used nationally on ABC's Good Morning America and ABC World News and on ESPN (Cruise ship towed back to San Diego[citation needed]; KFMB Sea World Orca dies[citation needed], KFMB Escondido Bomb House burned;[citation needed] San Diego flooding 12/2010; etc.[14]). His coverage of Junior Seau's death was featured on both ABC and NBC Nightly News in 2012.[15][16] Konstantin left KGTV when they switched helicopter companies in early 2013.[17]

Within weeks, Konstantin joined the reporter/photographers flying in Chopper 8 for KFMB-TV.[18][19] [20] His reports were heard on KFMB, and seen on most of the other TV stations in San Diego.[21]

Taking to the road[edit]

Konstantin retired from KFMB in 2016, and began traveling across the United States, documenting his journey online.[citation needed]


Konstantin has written numerous articles for newspapers and magazines, including Southwest Airlines in-flight magazine. This included interviews with Isaac Asimov, Stephen King and Wally Schirra[22][23][24][25]

In 1996, Konstantin began work on a website dedicated to American Indian history, events, and culture: [1]. The website was one of the first comprehensive websites dedicated to American Indian matters. It receives over 1,000 visits a day, on average (according to "Share This" website).

In 2002, his first book was published by Da Capo Press: This Day In North American Indian History. This book lists over 5000 events in American Indian history. It also includes material on the meaning of tribal names, alternative tribal names, and information on native calendars. This book received good reviews.[26][27][28][29]

He has contributed articles to two encyclopedias on American Indian history ("Native America: From Prehistory To First Contact", and "Treaties With American Indians").

Six of the twenty-four chapters of Native American History for Dummies were written by Konstantin.[30][31]

His fifth book The Wacky World of Laws was written with Jeff "The Lawyer In Blue Jeans" Isaac. Excerpts from this book were read on NBC's Today show in September 2009.[32][33][34][35]

Civic life[edit]

In 1971, he was a member of the Houston Symphony Chorale.

In the early 1970s, the city of Pasadena only allowed people to become candidates for public office if they paid a filing fee. Phil felt that other, non-monetary methods (such as petitions), should also be allowed. He filed a suit against the city. On February 7, 1973, the U.S. Federal Court in Houston declared Pasadena's filing fee requirement to be unconstitutional. The ruling suggested candidates be allowed access to the ballot by paying a fee, filing a petition, or declaring themselves to be paupers.[36]

In the mid 1970s, he served on the Library Board for the Pasadena Texas Public Library. His name appears on the dedication plaque on Pasadena's main library building.[37] He was also on the Board of Directors for the Pasadena Jaycees during this time.

Phil is one of the founding members of the San Diego Cherokee Community.[38]

Until 2016, he served on the Education and Exhibits Committee at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center in San Diego.

On June 5, 2009, "Officer Phil" had his foot-long ponytail cut off on live TV.[39] He donated it to Pantene's Beautiful Lengths [40] program to make wigs for people undergoing chemotherapy.

April 6, 2016 was proclaimed "Phil Konstantin Day" in San Diego, California by the Mayor and City Council for his contributions to the community.

On April 16, 2016, Phil was added to the Sam Rayburn High School Hall of Honor. [41]

Personal life[edit]

Phil Konstantin has mixed European and American Indian ancestry. Through his mother's side of the family, he is Cherokee. He is an enrolled member of the Cherokee Nation.

In 1971, he married Sandra Kay Lewis. In 1972, his first child, Ronald Parker Konstantin was born. A few years later, Phil and Sandra divorced.

In 1980, he married Deanna Lynn Chambers and moved to California. Deanna already had a daughter, Heidi Lynn Chambers. In 1981, Phil and Deanna had a child named Sarah Beth Nicole Konstantin. The marriage ended in a divorce in 1985.

In 1997, Phil married his long-time friend, Robyn Amsel Mellon. Robyn died in a vehicle collision on April 6, 1999 when she fell asleep behind the wheel. Phil worked very hard to establish April 6 as Drowsy Driver Awareness Day in California.[42]

Phil's son Ron lives in Abilene, Texas. His daughters Heidi and Sarah both live in San Diego.

His daughter Sarah has a daughter named Jazlyn Rose on February 18, 2010. This is his first grandchild.[43]

Following his 2016 retirement, he traveled the United States, documenting his journey on his "Travels with Phil" website[44] and via Facebook for his followers.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Traffic voice leaves CHP
  2. ^ Phil Konstantin's Biography Page
  3. ^ Phil Konstantin Sam Rayburn HS - local newspaper article 1971
  4. ^ Photo of Phil Konstantin's NASA ID Card
  5. ^ Futureworld Cast listing
  6. ^ Photo of his 10851 plaque
  7. ^ CHP Border Division website Archived 2009-12-04 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ Transportation Management Center website
  9. ^ TMC website
  10. ^ Phil Konstantin's CHP & Cherokee Home Page
  11. ^ CHP Chipper Coloring Book - Page 10 Archived 2010-01-08 at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ Officer Phil's KUSI website
  13. ^ 10News - Phil Konstantin - About Story
  14. ^ Qualcomm floods Archived 2010-12-24 at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ Junior Seau Dead in Apparent Suicide - ABC Nightly News - May 2, 2012 on YouTube
  16. ^ Retired NFL Star Seau Dies - NBC Nightly News - May 2, 2012 on YouTube
  17. ^!/photo.php?fbid=10200374479314389&set=a.1111683722111.2016992.1527440087&type=1&theater
  18. ^ " Ruben Campos hired at KFMB-TV 8". Retrieved 2016-08-09.
  19. ^ Officer Phil 'Takes Off' on a New Job
  20. ^ Rancho Santa Fe Review: Rancho Santa Fe Resident Thrives In Avocation as Helicopter Pilot for CBS
  21. ^ Mans Body Found In Poway - April 25, 2013 on YouTube
  22. ^ Interview With Wally Schirra
  23. ^ Interview with Isaac Asimov
  24. ^ "An Interview with Stephen King"- by Phil Konstantin
  25. ^ Articles Written by Phil Konstantin
  26. ^ review of This Day In North American Indian History
  27. ^ News From Indian Country review of This Day In North American Indian History
  28. ^ Booklist (American Library Asso.) review on Amazon website
  29. ^ Publishers Weekly review of This Day In North American Indian History
  30. ^ Flipkart review of Native American History for Dummies
  31. ^ Phil Konstantin on Native American Authors
  32. ^ The Wacky World Of Laws mentioned on the Today Show on YouTube
  33. ^ Life After 50 review of The Wacky World of Laws
  34. ^ Fort Wayne Daily News review of The Wacky World of Laws
  35. ^ Norwich Bulletin review of The Wacky World of Laws Archived 2012-09-06 at
  36. ^ Pasadena News CitizenFeb. 8, 1973. "Pasadena filing fee invalidated" - Front Page
  37. ^ Photo of Library Board Plaque
  38. ^ San Diego Cherokee Community
  39. ^ "Officer Phil" Donates His Ponytail
  40. ^ Pantene's Beautiful Lengths
  41. ^
  42. ^ Drowsy Driver Awareness Day Official Website
  43. ^ Photos of Jazlyn Rose
  44. ^

External links[edit]