He was born in Pittsfield, MA on July 27th, 1925 the only child of Philip S. Barnhart and Alice (McKernon) Barnhart.
Phil attended Williston Academy in Easthampton, MA. He went on to attend Bates College, and then Tufts University where he earned his Bachelor’s degree in Business. He also participated in the V-12 Navy College Training Program where he was honorably discharged in 1946. While at Tufts, Phil excelled in sports, as he was named MVP of the football team, was the High Scorer on the basketball team, and he also set a New England track record in the 440 yard dash.