Philip Lee was born in Maryland, U.S.A., and grew up in Saint John. N.B. He graduated from Dalhousie University with a Master of Arts degree in Classics in 1988, then embarked on a journalist’s life in Newfoundland at the Grand Falls Advertiser and the St. John’s Sunday Express. He returned to New Brunswick to join the Saint John Telegraph Journal and Times Globe, where he eventually became the deputy managing editor of the Times Globe and the editor of the New Brunswick Reader. After a two-year stint as editor of the Atlantic Salmon Journal, he returned to the Telegraph Journal in 1998 as editor-in-chief. During his tenure, the newspaper won several regional and national newspaper awards. In December 2000, he became a senior writer for the Ottawa Citizen and in the summer of 2001 he was appointed director of the journalism school at St. Thomas University.
Lee has been recognized nationally for his writing. In 1989, his stories helped to prompt the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Mount Cashel orphanage scandal and he was part of a team of writers short listed for the prestigious Michener Award for public service journalism. In 1995, Lee won two Canadian Association of Journalists awards, including best investigative report of the year in Canada, for a series of stories about Atlantic salmon conservation. He later turned the series into a book, Home Pool: The Fight to Save the Atlantic Salmon (Goose Lane, 1996). Over the years, Lee has won several Atlantic Journalism Awards and has been short listed for a National Magazine Award for column writing. Lee’s latest book, Frank: The Life and Politics of Frank McKenna (Goose Lane, 2001) was a national bestseller and was chosen as an Atlantic Bookseller’s Choice finalist.
Lee is married to the journalist Deborah Nobes and is the father of three teenaged children. They live on the outskirts of Fredericton with three dogs and enjoy fly fishing, canoeing, biking and skiing.