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He studied humanistic topics such as poetry, philosophy, mathematics and architecture. He was the son of Pamphilio Pamphili and Olimpia Maidalchini, thus making him a nephew of pope Innocent X, who (in line with the nepotism of the time) made him a cardinal with the titulus of Santa Maria in Domnica on 14 November 1644. At his mother's request he resigned as a cardinal on 21 February 1647 to marry Olimpia Aldobrandini, princess of Rossano, widow of prince Paolo Borghese (1624-1646) on 10 February 1647. His son Benedetto also became a cardinal.