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Edgar M. Cullen


Edgar M. Cullen

Edgar Montgomery Cullen (December 4, 1843 Brooklyn, Kings County, New York - May 23, 1922 Brooklyn, New York City) was an American lawyer and politician from New York. He was Chief Judge of the New York Court of Appeals from 1904 to 1913.


He was the second son of Dr. Henry J. Cullen (1805–1874) and Elizabeth McCue. He attended the Kinderhook Academy and graduated from Columbia College in 1860. Then he studied at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute until the outbreak of the American Civil War.

In 1861, he was commissioned a lieutenant in the First United States Infantry of the regular army, and in 1862 became colonel of the 69th New York Volunteer Infantry. After his discharge from the Union Army, he resumed at first his engineering studies, but soon changed to the study of law, and was admitted to the bar in 1867.

From 1872 to 1875, he was an Assistant District Attorney of Kings County. He was a justice of the New York Supreme Court from 1881 to 1904. In 1900, he was one of the first three justices appointed under the amendment of 1899 to the Court of Appeals.

After the resignation of Alton B. Parker, Cullen was appointed in September 1904 by Governor Benjamin Barker Odell, Jr. Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals. In November 1904, he was elected to a full 14-year term as Chief Judge, nominated by Republicans and Democrats. In 1913, he presided at the impeachment trial of Governor William Sulzer, and voted against conviction. He retired from the bench at the end of 1913 when he reached the constitutional age limit of 70 years. Afterwards he resumed the practice of law.

He died at his home at 144 Willow Street in Brooklyn after a "stroke of apoplexy". He was buried at the Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn.


  • [1] Political Graveyard
  • [2] Obit in NYT on May 24, 1922
  • [3] Appointed to Court of Appeals, in NYT on January 2, 1900
  • [4] The Rep. ticket, in NYT on September 16, 1904
  • [5] Listing of Court of Appeals judges, with portrait
Legal offices
Preceded by
Alton B. Parker
Chief Judge of the New York Court of Appeals
Succeeded by
Willard Bartlett

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