He was a distinguished professor emeritus at the State University of New York (SUNY), an Outstanding Professor in the California State University, a past president of the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality, past Dean of natural and social sciences at the Buffalo State College in Buffalo, New York, one of the founders of the American Association for the History of Nursing, and a member of the editorial board of Paidika: The Journal of Paedophilia.
Born in Salt Lake City, Utah, Bullough earned his B.A. at University of Utah in 1951. He then attended University of Chicago, earning an M.A. in 1951 and a Ph.D in 1954. In 1981 he received a B.S.N. from California State University, Long Beach.
According to the university:
- He is the author, co-author, or editor of nearly 50 books, has contributed chapters to another 75 or so, and has over 100 refereed articles, and hundreds of more popular ones. His expertise encompasses several fields: sexology, history, community health and public policy, contraception and population issues. He has lectured in most of the 50 states and 20 or so foreign countries including China, Russia, Greece, Egypt, Ghana, et al. Among his many awards is the Alfred Kinsey Award for distinguished sex research.
In 1992 Bullough received a Distinguished Humanist Service Award from the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU), and served as co-Chairman of the IHEU (1995-1996). In 2003 he was one of the signers of the Humanist Manifesto. Today Bullough is remembered mainly as an eminent sexologist and medical historian, and a pioneer in the scientific study of alternative sexual behaviors. He was married first to Bonnie Bullough and has four children. After the death of Bonnie Bullough in 1996 he married Gwen Brewer. He died in Westlake Village.
- Hearings Before and Special Reports Made by Committee on Armed Services of the House of Representatives, 96th Congress, 1st session (1979). United States Government Printing Office. 1993. p. 107.
- "Notable Signers". Humanism and Its Aspirations. American Humanist Association. Retrieved September 15, 2012.
- New York Times:Vern Leroy Bullough, 77, Noted Medical Historian, Dies
- *Woo, Elaine (July 2, 2006). Vern Bullough, 77; Prolific Author Was Scholar of Sex History. Los Angeles Times
- Pearce, Jeremy (July 3, 2006). Vern Leroy Bullough, 77, Noted Medical Historian, Dies. New York Times
- Clive M Davis. In Memoriam: Vern L. Bullough, Ph.D., DSci, RN. Journal of Sex Research. New York: Feb 2007. Vol.44, Iss. 1; pg. 1
- 1977: A Bibliography of Prostitution. New York: Garland (with others)
- 1982: Sexual Practices and the Medieval Church. New York: Prometheus Books ISBN 0-87975-268-8
- 2004: Universities, Medicine and Science in the Medieval West, Ashgate