Caroline McCullagh was born in New Jersey, but grew up in Southern California. She completed two years of college at Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie Mellon University) in Pittsburgh, PA, but like so many women of her generation, dropped out to marry and raise a family. She returned to Southern California, and after the failure of her first marriage, married her late husband, Bill.
Caroline re-entered college at the University of California, San Diego. She earned a bachelor’s degree with department, school (Muir College Caledonian Honor Society), and university honors (magna cum laude) in 1987. She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa. In 1989 , she earned a master’s degree in anthropology with an emphasis in cultural anthropology, and in 1993, she received a Candidate in Philosophy Degree, also in anthropology, at UCSD. She’s had a lifelong interest in the Inuit and Eskimos of the far north.
She’s written five novels about the Inuit. Her novel Fire and Ice (since renamed The Quest for the Ivory Caribou) won a San Diego Book Award for best unpublished novel. She edited a cookbook, Sing for Your Supper, for San Diego Opera in 1998. She also participated in writing and performing a short opera, The Singing Mirror, in 2006.
She teaches creative writing in a program of continuing education for seniors.
She’s active in the American Mensa Society, and a member of the San Diego Opera.