Dave Cullen began writing as a young boy in the Chicago suburbs. He dove passionately into journalism in high school and college, then wandered. He became an infantry soldier, management consultant, computer systems analyst and undergraduate instructor in scattered cities across the U.S., England, Kuwait and Bahrain. He traveled to 26 countries, with a penchant for north Africa and south Asia.
At 33 Dave devoted himself to writing full-time. He began with the University of Colorado-Boulder's writing program, where he won the Jovanovich Award for best master's thesis. He later won a GLAAD Media Award, an SPJ Award and is an Ochberg Fellow at the Dart Center for Journalism & Trauma at Columbia University's Journalism School.