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John Sanborn Phillips (1861–1949) attended Knox College in Illinois, where he worked on the student newspaper and met S. S. McClure. In 1887 McClure hired him to manage the home office of the McClure Newspaper Syndicate (founded in 1884).
The two went on to found the famous McClure's Magazine, first published in June 1893, where Phillips was co-editor. In 1900 Phillips became a partner in the publisher McClure, Phillips and Company.
Phillips was the son of Edgar L. Phillips (1827-1908) and Mary Lavinia Sanborn (1835-1914). Edgar's mother was Sarah Evertson, a member of a prominent Dutch American family from New York City. Through his father he was a descendant of Reverend George Phillips, founder of Watertown, Massachusetts and the progenitor of the New England Phillips family.
- Wertheim, Stanley (1997). A Stephen Crane Encyclopedia. p. 206.Greenwood Publishing Group.
- Greg Gross (1997), The Staff Breakup of McClure's Magazine, chapter 2. Archived 2008-07-23 at the Wayback Machine
- The National Cyclopædia of American Biography: Being the History of the United States as Illustrated in the Lives of the Founders, Builders, and Defenders of the Republic, and of the Men and Women who are Doing the Work and Moulding the Thought of the Present Time, Volume 38, 1953, page 210
- Gorton, Stephanie (2020). Citizen Reporters: S.S. McClure, Ida Tarbell, and the Magazine That That Rewrote America. Ecco Press.