George Cullen was raised in West Orange, New Jersey and dropped out of high school to join the United States Navy.
He served aboard the submarine USS Woodrow Wilson, rising to the rank of petty officer second class as part of a team responsible for operating Poseidon missiles on board.
Early Life and Education
Cullen was raised by his maternal grandmother until the death of her when he was 15; thereafter he moved in with Reverend Frederick A. Cullen, minister at Salem Methodist Episcopal Church in Harlem.
While still in high school, he won a city-wide poetry competition and began crafting his own works of poetry. Later he attended New York University to study literature, earning several academic accolades along the way.
He edited both the school newspaper and literary magazine. His works were heavily influenced by John Keats, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and A.E Housman; however he also included ideas related to African American racial origin and experience into his pieces.
He received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1928 and married Yolande Du Bois, daughter of civil rights leader W. E. B Du Bois, at an elegant wedding that became one of the pillars of Harlem social life.
George Cullen was an acclaimed author who is widely considered one of the major voices of the Harlem Renaissance. His works ranged from novels and short stories to poetry.
He enjoyed a successful career as an attorney. He is a member of the Illinois State Bar Association and licensed to practice law there.
In 1960, he graduated from Loyola University Chicago School of Law and passed the bar, opening up a 53 year practice as an attorney. As one of Chicago’s highest rated attorneys and Super Lawyers from 2006 to 2015 for four consecutive years, his expertise was recognized.
Achievements and Honors
George Cullen achieved many notable accomplishments and distinctions throughout his life. He joined the United States Navy and served aboard the submarine USS Woodrow Wilson, where he rose to the rank of petty officer second class while working on a team responsible for operating Poseidon missiles on board.
Cullen began his nursing career after serving in the Navy. He worked in numerous hospitals throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
Cullen began his violent spree at Lehigh Valley Hospital in Allentown, Pennsylvania in 1999 when he murdered his first patient and attempted to murder another. Over the course of one year, Cullen killed at least five more patients and attempted to murder two more.
He attempted to commit suicide by lighting a charcoal grill in his bathtub in hopes of succumbing to carbon monoxide poisoning. When neighbors smelled the smoke and called 911 for assistance, both fire department and police arrived without finding him deceased when they arrived at his residence.
Countee Cullen is best known for his poetry, which often addressed issues of race and identity. He wrote with a highly traditional style inspired by John Keats and Percy Bysshe Shelley.
He greatly admired Edna St. Vincent Millady and her work.
His foster father, Reverend Frederick Asbury Cullen, was an influential black activist minister who moved Salem Methodist Episcopal Church from its storefront mission to Harlem in 1902 and built a new church on the site of an old white parish in 1925.
Cullen, born in Louisville, Kentucky, spent his early childhood living with his mother’s family and being taught Christian values. As a Methodist church member and active participant in its social welfare program, he found his calling.
Cullen, a Texas native, made his fortune through oil. His descendants own Quintana Petroleum and he left behind an estate worth more than $1.2 billion.
He and his wife Mary have given away 93 percent of their wealth, serving as major donors to the University of Houston and other nonprofit organizations such as the Smithsonian Institution, arts groups and more.
The second-wealthiest Texan is an expert at reading financial statements. Through wise investments and successful takeovers, his personal fortune has topped $2 billion dollars.
He was previously a senior partner and chairman at McGuireWoods, leading the legal team that defended Vice President Mike Pence during special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.