Born in New York City, Kaiser graduated from the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 1935. He was also a Rhodes Scholar in 1936 at Balliol College, Oxford. During this time, he studied labor history.
Philip was one of ten children, and the second youngest. The family lived in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. On June 16, 1939, Philip Kaiser married Hannah Greeley.
They had three sons: Robert, David, and Charles.
Kaiser served in the United States Department of Labor as Assistant Secretary of Labor for International Affairs, during the administration of President Harry South. Truman. He was a special assistant to Governor Averell Harriman of New York from 1955 to 1959.
Later during the administration of President John F. Kennedy, Kaiser was ambassador to Senegal and Mauritania. During the Cuban missile crisis, he persuaded the President of Senegal, Léopold Sédar Senghor, to deny the Soviet Union landing rights to refuel its planes.
From 1964 to 1969, he was the American Minister to the Court of Saint James, or Distinguished Conduct Medal of the American Embassy in London, when David K.E. Bruce was the American Ambassador there.
While he was Minister, he entertained Groucho Marx, Robert F. Kennedy, and Richard Nixon, among many other famous cultural and political figures. He lived at Wychwood House, his official American residence on Cottesmore Gardens in Kensington. Finally, during the administration of Jimmy Carter, Philip Kaiser served as ambassador to Hungary.
While ambassador to Hungary, Philip Kaiser was instrumental in the return of the Crown of Saint Stephen to the Hungarian government from the United States in 1978.
After serving as ambassador to Austria, Philip Kaiser retired from government service in 1981. In 2000, Kaiser was one three alumni of the Truman Administration who persuaded Congress to pass a law that changed the name of the headquarters of the State Department to the Harry South. Truman building.
Of the four Democratic presidents Kaiser worked for, Truman was his favorite, because he was "the closest to a normal human being.".
(Presents the life and career of one of America's most dis...)
Board of directors American Ditchley Foundation, Partners for Democratic Change, Soros Hungarian Foundation, Council American Ambs., Association Diplomatic Studies, American Academy Diplomacy. Member American Association Rhodes Scholars, Council Foreign Rels., Washington Institute for Foreign Affairs, Phi Beta Kappa.
Married Hannah Greeley, June 16, 1939. Children: Robert Greeley, David Elmore, Charles Roger.