Birth. August 24, 1918, Auburn, diocese of Rochester, United States. His baptismal name is Avery Robert. Son of John Foster Dulles, United States Secretary of State, and Janet Pomeroy Avery Dulles; nephew of Allen Welsh Dulles, founding administrator of the Central Intelligence Agency; great-grandson of John Watson Foster, secretary of State of the United States; great-grandson of Theodore Medad Pomeroy, MC, Speaker of the House of Representatives.
Education. Attended primary school in New York City and secondary education at private schools in Switzerland and New England. Raised a Presbyterian, he was a self-professed agnostic when he entered Harvard University in 1936. He converted to Catholicism on November 26, 1940. After graduation, served in intelligence in the Naval Reserve. In 1945 was decorated with the Croix de Guerre for his work in communication with the French navy. Later in 1945, he contracted polio in Naples, Italy. Joined the Society of Jesus, August 14, 1946, New York Province. Instructor of Philosophy, Fordham University, Bronx, New York, 1951-1953. Obtained a doctorate in theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, 1960.
Priesthood. Ordained, June 16, 1956, Fordham University, New York, by Cardinal Francis Spellman, archbishop of New York. He was moderator of the freshman and sophomore Sodality of Our Lady, which included as its prefect sophomore Theodore McCarrick, later cardinal and archbishop of Washington, D.C. Later he was a member of the faculties of Woodstock College and of the Catholic University of America. Since 1988 he has been the Laurence J. McGinley Professor of Religion and Society at Fordham University. Member of the International Theological Commission, 1991-1997. He has held fifteen visiting professorships and numerous positions in theological organizations including the presidency of the Catholic Theological Society of America and the American Theological Society, which was founded by a group of Protestant theologians including his grandfather Allen Macy Dulles, a distinguished Presbyterian theologian. Consultor to the Committee on Doctrine of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops. Considered as the preeminent American Catholic theologian, he has received numerous awards. Among them, Phi Beta Kappa, the National Catholic Book Award, the Religious Education Forum Award, as well as the Cardinal Spellman Award for distinguished achievement in theology. He also has received 21 honorary doctorates and is well known internationally as an author and a lecturer. He has published 21 books and over 650 articles, essays and reviews. Many of his writings interpret and communicate the messages of the Vatican II Ecumenical Council.
Cardinalate. Created cardinal deacon in the consistory of February 21, 2001; received the red biretta and the deaconry of SS. Nomi di Gesù e Maria in via Lata, February 21, 2001. Promoted to the cardinalate when he was over 80 years old, and thus, he did not have the right to participate in the conclave.