Phil Sherman is a businessman.
Standing 6'2, Sherman is one of the older men to play secret agent, acknowledging that he is in his late 40's during his first adventure. This is supported by that fact that he served in the military during WWII, probably in the Far East. After he was discharged in 1945, he remained in Asia to start a business. It is likely that he would have been in his mid-20's, he would be at least 47 in 1968.
Sherman is the only member of his family still alive as his parents were killed quite some time ago, probably during WWII. His only sibling, a brother, lost both legs in a POW camp in Korea and spent 2 years in agony afterwards before finally dieing.
Sherman is the sole shareholder of the Trans-Eastern Supply Company, an import-export company specializing in legal trade of computers with the Eastern Bloc nations, especially Czechoslovakia. The original Trans-Eastern Supply Company was created by Sherman in Shanghai upon being discharged from the military and handled trade between the U.S. and China. When, however, Mao and his group wrested control of China from Kai-Shek, most foreign investors were forced out. Sherman lost everything he had and was forced to start over. He chose Europe this time.
At first the requests for assistance seem innocuous and the money was good for helping the CIA in their clandestine operations. As time passes, however, the situation often changes. At times Sherman is in need of money while at other times he is almost roped into helping. Still, his authentic role of an office-equipment distributor provides an excellent cover for his movements all across the world.
Eventually, from adventure #14, "Death Stalk in Spain", Sherman becomes a full-time agent for the CIA, working for a special department headed by Sherman's old 'friend', McCullough.