Ed Mullin ’72 grew up in Cleveland, attending St. Aloysius School and later St. Ann School in Cleveland Heights. Ed is the seventh of nine children in a family where he “learned to share, work hard, be humble, respect all people, and never have too big of an ego.” His parents were committed to sending their children to Catholic schools. “My mother, Agnes O’Brien Mullin, attended St. Aloysius before John Hay,” says Ed. He describes his education by the St. Joseph and Ursuline sisters and the Jesuits as instrumental in his formation as a Catholic. Ed considers two men from Saint Ignatius High School as formative mentors: his guidance counselor, Fr. James O'Reilly, S.J. and speech and drama teacher, William A. Murphy.
Ed played freshman football and on the 10-0 JV team his sophomore year. He calls his JV coach, Tom Flandera ’63, “the school’s best, and the brightest coach and teacher.” It was in the Harlequin drama program where Ed found his greatest joy, including lead roles in High Button Shoes, Guys & Dolls
and South Pacific
. Ed and a few classmates started the Student Community Involvement Program (SCIP) to serve neighborhood youth, later becoming the Sophomore Service program. “Young boys and girls, all ages and races, some barefooted, came to the Carroll Gym on cold winter nights for pizza and basketball,” says Ed. “We didn’t yet have ‘Men for Others’ as a slogan, but we practiced it daily. We followed the examples of teachers, Mr. Murphy, Fr. O’Reilly and Fr. Lawrence Belt.”
After graduating in 1972, Ed was a teamster/milkman for Dean Moss-Hillside Dairy before becoming a brakeman on the Norfolk & Western Railroad, joining the United Transportation Union. “I represent union members now, and we share work experiences. My father, Edward, was an engineer on the New York Central for 40 years, so I was raised by a railroader,” says Ed.
At age 21, Ed was hired as a Beachwood Police Officer, working the night shift. He advanced to the roles of sergeant and lieutenant while attending college part-time. He received an A.A.S. in law enforcement from Lakeland Community College and a B.S. in psychology from John Carroll University. A police lieutenant, with four young children, Ed obtained a J.D. from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, becoming licensed in 1988. Ed considers being a father his most important and rewarding role. At one point, he had children attending three Jesuit universities at the same time -- Loyola Chicago, Fordham, and JCU.
In the early 1990s Ed started a law practice in Cleveland’s Terminal Tower. A trial lawyer, Ed handles civil and criminal cases involving “daily heartache” in families: accidents, substance abuse, domestics, robberies, guns and murders. “Law is a tough profession,” says Ed. “Stressful, yet rewarding, law is perfect for those who want to stand up for the underdog.” Ed is guided by the Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy and the Holy Rosary, representing poor and mentally ill people trapped in the “system.”
Ed served the Jesuit Retreat House as board president, retreat leader, and as a lawyer. He served the Little Sisters of the Poor as a lawyer and board president and was president of the First Friday Club of Cleveland. Ed is a guest lecturer at JCU and he mentors students in high school, college, law school, and new lawyers.
Ed previously received the Alumni Xavier Award and Founders’ Award. He served on the Spiritual Development Committee and attends all alumni Masses. Ed feels honored to receive the Bellarmine award and acknowledges the countless deserving Saint Ignatius lawyers serving in Cleveland and around the country.
A Gesu parishioner, Ed resides in Beachwood with his wife, Mary Ann. He has four children, Kimberly, Raleigh, Brady, Connor (’01); three step sons, Ron, Michael and Cheston; and eight grandchildren.
Ed received the St. Robert Bellarmine Award at the 41st Annual Bellarmine Award Luncheon on Wednesday, April 10, 2019.