Philip David Adler was born in 1902, the only child of Emanuel P. and Lena Rothschild Adler. E.P. Adler was a newspaper publisher in Davenport, Iowa. His son followed in his footsteps from an early age, apprenticing as a printer on the Daily Times during the summers. After graduating from Davenport High School in 1922, Philip Adler attended the University of Iowa. There he served as the editor of the Daily Iowan. He received his B.A. in 1926. Adler became the publisher of the Star-Courier at age 23. When his father died in 1949, Philip Adler succeeded him as publisher of the Times in Davenport, Iowa. In 1959, he became the president of Lee Enterprises. After expanding the company's holdings to include newspapers in Montana and Wisconsin, Adler retired in 1970. A philanthropist and tireless volunteer, Adler was a trustee of Saint Luke's Hospital, and Marycrest and Saint Ambrose Colleges. He was president of the Davenport Municipal Art Gallery and was the first chairman of the Iowa Chapter of the American Red Cross. Like his father before him, Philip Adler maintained close ties to the University of Iowa's School of Religion, while remaining involved with the School of Journalism. He died in 1984 at the age of 81.