Sir Philip Gibbs was an English journalist and novelist who served as one of five official British reporters during the First World War. Two of his siblings were also writers, A. Hamilton Gibbs and Cosmo Hamilton, as was his son Anthony Gibbs.
The son of a civil servant, Gibbs was born in London and received a home education and determined at an early age to develop a career as a writer. His debut article was published in 1894 in the Daily Chronicle; five years later he published the first of many books, Founders of the Empire.
Gibbs received a major boost when he was given the post of literary editor at Alfred Harmsworth's leading tabloid newspaper the Daily Mail. He subsequently worked on other prominent newspapers including the Daily Express.
The Times, in 1940 referring to 1909, credited Gibbs for “bursting the bubble with one cable to the London newspaper he was representing”. The bubble in question was Frederick Cook’s claim in September 1909 being the first man who had reached the north pole.Gibbs didn’t trust Cook’s “romantic” impressions of his journey into the ice.
His first attempt at semi-fiction was published in 1909 as The Street of Adventure, which recounted the story of the official Liberal newspaper Tribune, founded in 1906 and failing spectacularly in 1908. The paper was founded at vast expense by Franklin Thomasson, MP for Leicester 1906 to 1910 and featured one of the most distinguished staffs ever known in journalism, including H. Brailsford, J. L. Hammond and L. Hobhouse. A man of decidedly liberal views Gibbs took an interest in popular movements of the time, including the suffragettes, publishing a book on the movement in 1910.