Barbara Mullen was born and grew up in Marquette, a small town in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. She graduated from Northern Michigan University with a bachelor's degree in sociology and spent four years in the United States Foreign Service in Southeast Asia and Japan.
In 1960, she married William Mullen, a Marine Corps Captain. They had two young sons, Sean and Terence, when Captain Mullen's plane was shot down in 1966 during the Vietnam War. In 1970, she founded Families For Immediate Release, a national POW/MIA wives organization that lobbied to end the war. William Mullen remains missing in action to this day.
Barbara earned a master's degree in creative writing from Lesley College in 1985 and since then has published three books, EVERY EFFORT, St. Martin's Press, WHEN YOU MARRY A MAN WITH CHILDREN, Pocket Books, Simon & Schuster and DOMINIC'S DAUGHTER, Wheatmark Publishers. Her freelance articles have appeared in The Boston Herald, The Cape Cod Times and Sojourner.
Mullen has been a member of the National Organization of Women (NOW) since 1973 and is a longtime member of the Democratic National Committee and several other Democrat organizations. She received the Vietnam War Commemoration from the Department of Defense for her contributions in the effort to bring home the remains of POWs left behind on the warfront. Mullen has appeared as a military POW wife in newspapers and magazines nationwide, including The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, Newsweek, and Time. She has also been interviewed on radio and television, including Fox TV News, CBS, and CNN.
She now lives happily in the San Francisco Bay Area near her two sons, Sean and his wife Lynne and son Terence and her three grandsons, William, Christopher and Fynnigan. She is still involved in politics and causes, managing a writing critique group and of course expressing her opinions to anyone who will listen.