In 2007 CARE lost a great friend and long time supporter. In order to understand the man, it is important to know a little about the journey he took during his life. Philip Osborne was born December 23, 1929 in East Orange, NJ on his mother's 22nd birthday. In 1941, the family moved to Atlanta. Phil graduated from Darlington School in Rome, GA in 1948 and went on to receive his B.A. from Principia College in Elsah, IL. After graduating Phil joined the U.S. Army and served in its intelligence operations in Berlin, Germany during the early years of the Cold War. In 1954 Phil requested to be decommissioned in Europe rather than going directly home to Atlanta. And that is where the journey began. From Germany he traveled across land to Japan where he taught English aboard a Japanese freighter bound for the U.S. When he arrived in San Francisco the travel bug was in him. He was hired by Thomas Cook Travel in New York before moving back to Atlanta to work with Tower Travel, one of the first travel agencies in the Southeast. In 1960 he branched out on his own. His company "Osborne Travel Service" soon became known for its student trips to Europe as well as its leisure travel expertise. His motto was "Ask the man who has been there."
Throughout his life Phil remained good friends with his former college tour leaders and many of the young people who went on his hand-crafted Osborne Tours. After selling his travel agency in 1990, he created Bush Homes of Africa, a specialty company that allowed its travelers to stay on private ranches across that continent and enjoy the unforgettable experience of the African wildlife, its landscape and people in ways few other people ever see. Later, the business expanded its operation to include parts of South America and Australia, but Africa remained foremost in his heart. Phil travelled to Africa more than 100 times, the most recent during the summer of 2006. It was not unusual to hear his friends around the world refer to him as "Bwana Phil" or "The Lion King" though many simply called him "Uncle Phil." Phil not only had a passion for exploring our world, but he also had a deep commitment to sharing the experience with everyone else. Countless former travelers will tell you that he changed their lives more than anyone they ever met. On his 70th and 75th birthdays, hundreds of friends from across the country and around the world came to celebrate with him at the Fox Egyptian ballroom. Their stories of discovery trips with Phil were endless. He had clearly expanded their horizons in ways only they could so joyfully describe. Beyond his travel career, he was also devoted to the arts (walking into his home was like walking into a museum) and somehow found time over the years to give back to the communities he so loved. He understood the joy of giving.
In Atlanta, he was on the Board of Trustees of The Nature Conservancy, Georgia Shakespeare Festival, Darlington School, Atlanta College of Art, Atlanta International School, Atlanta International Museum of Art and Design, Friends of Atlanta Library, Lee Harper Phil hosting A CARE get together and Dancers, African Wildlife Foundation, CARE, African Fund for Endangered Wildlife and Cheetah Conservancy. In the latter case, he became an instigator in the purchase of land in Namibia for a cheetah preserve which has become a noted success in its efforts to preserve that species. Additionally, he helped found the Ngare Sergoi Rhino Preserve in Kenya - now the model for other private rhino conservation efforts in East Africa where the endangered black rhino is now beginning to rebound - despite ongoing poaching. Beyond these efforts, he was also a strong advocate for Literary Action, The Council for Battered Women, and the Atlanta Community Food Bank as well as countless education programs around the world.
As a volunteer member of the Atlanta Committee for CARE, Phil graciously and generously opened his home to host events to help raise awareness and to build support for CARE's work. In passing he became a significant legacy donor to CARE to provide ongoing support for the programs and countries he had become so fond of during his lifetime. He was beloved by many at CARE, in the Atlanta community and around the world. He is sorely missed.