Born in Hamilton, Ontario in 1898, Philip Child spent a year at Ridley and graduated in 1915. He then studied at Trinity College, University of Toronto where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree after serving during the First World War. He also received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Christ's College, Cambridge in 1921 and a Master of Arts and Ph.D. from Harvard University.
He was a journalist, novelist and poet and taught for a time at the University of British Columbia while writing several novels. In 1942, Child became a professor at Trinity College, eventually becoming Chancellor's Professor of English. The author of seven books, Child also contributed to A History of Trinity College, Toronto, 1852-1952
. He won the Ryerson Fiction Award twice: in 1945 for Day of Wrath
and in 1949 for Mr. Ames Against Time
. He also won the 1949 Governor General's Award for Mr. Ames Against Time.
Child died on February 6, 1978.