Dulles was educated in Watertown NY before attending Princeton University, and George Washington University Law School. After graduating from law school he joined NYC law firm, Sullivan & Cromwell. In July 1949, he was appointed US Senator from NY by Governor Thomas E. Dewey. In November of 1949, he did not win the seat and served as Senator for less than 1 year.
When Dwight D. Eisenhower won the presidency in 1953, Dulles was appointed Secretary of State. On April 15, 1959 Dulles resigned due to quickly declining health. On May 24, 1959, Dulles died at Walter Reed Hospital from colon cancer, and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
Washington Dulles International Airport, is named for Dulles. The airport is in Dulles, VA, a municipality which largely derives its name from the airport.