Dorothy Collins Sullivan was born on November 16, 1916 in New York City. She was raised in the Bronx and attended high school there. After graduation, she worked at a five-and-dime store.
In March 1943, Sullivan enlisted in the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC). She completed basic training at Fort Oglethorpe before being assigned to Camp Gordon, Georgia, where she sorted mail. After receiving overseas training back at Fort Oglethorpe, her company traveled to England on the HMS Queen Elizabeth. Sullivan was stationed for a year at Sutton Coldfield, England, and later at Vitry-sur-Seine, France, for six months before returning to the United States in 1945. She was discharged in September of 1945 with a final rank of private first class.
After her service, Sullivan worked at the American Bank Note Company. She and her husband remained in the Bronx until the late 1970s, when they moved to Florida.