The following information comes from his son Greg:
Phil Kooser was born in Ames, Iowa in 1921 with a passion for art. He was raised in Ames and attended Iowa State University and the Cumming School of Art in Des Moines. His education was interrupted by World War II, when he served in the Army Engineers, building bridges in what was then Burma and India. Following the war he returned to Iowa, where he married Esther Knotts in 1946. They moved to Chicago where he attended the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts. After graduation he and Esther lived in Chicago while he worked in the art department of an advertising agency.
Phil fell in love with Yakima when he trained at the Yakima Firing Range during the war and in 1950 he and Esther
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