PHILIP HENDERSON HOFF was born in Greenfield, Massachusetts. He attended Williams College and Cornell University Law School. Hoff served in the U.S. Navy, Submarine Service from 1943 to 1946. He served in the Vermont House of Representatives from 1960 to 1962. In 1962, Hoff was elected Governor of Vermontthe first Democrat elected to the post since 1853. He was reelected two times. During his six-year tenure, Governor Hoff expanded many state programs and in 1964 he created the Governor's Commission on the Status of Women. He served on the National Governors' Conference Executive Committee from 1965 to 1966, and he chaired the New England Governors' Conference from 1967 to 1968. Hoff ran an unsuccessful campaign for the U.S. Senate in 1970 but went on to serve as chairman of the Vermont Democratic Party and as a member of the state Senate.