Luke Longstreet Sullivan
Luke Longstreet Sullivan was born on October 7, 1954 in Rochester, Minnesota, the fifth of six sons born to Charles Roger Sullivan, an orthopedist at the Mayo Clinic, and Myra Longstreet Sullivan, the only daughter of a Florida educator, ornithologist, and bibliophile. Sullivan's father died in a hotel on July 3, 1966 at the age of 44 while in Augusta, Georgia to interview for a faculty post at the Medical College of Georgia.
The autopsy report assigned pneumonia as the cause of death; however, Sullivan attributed the primary cause to alcoholism, a disease to which Sullivan himself succumbed as a young adult and successfully learned to manage in his late thirties.
Prior to high school, Sullivan had used cigarettes, alcohol, and marijuana. As a student at Mayo High School, Sullivan's cigarette and marijuana use became habitual. An active participant in extracurricular activities, Sullivan wrote feature articles and cartoons for the high school newspaper, played one of the leading roles in Tea House of the August Moon, and competed in freestyle and trampoline events as a member of the gymnastics team.
As a college student, Sullivan's drug use was not limited to marijuana, but was extended to include amphetamines, hallucinogens, cocaine, and tranquilizers. His freshman and sophomore years were spent on the campus of St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, his junior year at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and his senior year was completed at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. He graduated from St. Olaf College in 1976 with a B.A. in psychology.