Charles James Cullen was born in Liverpool, Lancashire, England on 11 January 1863 and was baptised on 22 February in Our Lady of Immaculate Conception Church. He was the son of John Cullen (1831-1898), a book-keeper, and Mary McDonald (1831-1871), both Irish immigrants.
He had eight known siblings: Elizabeth Jane (b. 1855), John W. (b. 1856), Thomas Joseph (b. 1857), Mary Anne (b. 1859), Reuben (b. 1861), Minnie (b. 1865), George James (b. 1867) and Harry Roberto (b. 1869).
Charles first appears on the 1871 census whilst living at 22 St Anne Street, Liverpool. His mother passed away not long after and his father was remarried in 1874 to Eleanor Morris (b. 1838 in Liverpool), going on to have a son, William. The 1881 census shows Charles still living at home at 30 Fitzclarence Street, Everton and he was now described as an office clerk.
Charles was married on 23 May 1882 to Mary Taylor Smith (b. 1854 in South Shields, Durham). They are not believed to have had any children and Mary passed away in 1886 aged 32. Charles remarried in 1888 to Alice Cookson (b. 1867 in Great Crosby, Lancashire). The couple would have four children and lost one in infancy. Their surviving children were: Mary Susanna (b. 1889), Alice Angela (b. 1892) and Charles James (b. 1904).
Charles and his family appear on the 1891 census living at 8 Sandhill Lane, Kirkdale, Liverpool, he being described as a barman. They are listed at 23 Corona Road, Waterloo on the 1901 census and Charles is now listed as a ship' steward. The 1911 census sees Charles absent, perhaps at sea, but his wife and children are living at 8 Argo Road, Waterloo, Liverpool.
When he signed-on to the Titanic, on 4th April, 1912, Charles gave his address as 21 Warburton Road, (Southampton). He had transferred from the Celtic. As a first class steward he received monthly wages of £3 15s. He worked as Bedroom Steward to Archibald Gracie amongst others.
Cullen was rescued in Lifeboat 11.
He returned to England and continued to work at sea, remaining in Lancashire and settling in Crosby. He was widowed in 1937 and Charles himself passed away in 1939.