Born in 1640
The son of an Anglican preacher, Dr. Carlisle Cullen once led hunts for vampires, werewolves, and witches, as he followed in his father's footsteps. On one such hunt, he was attacked by a vampire and left to die. Three days later, he became a vampire himself. Hating what he'd become, he tried to kill himself, but was unable to do so.
Unable to bear the thought of taking a human life by drinking their blood, he learned to feed off of animals instead. Over the years, Carlisle perfected his gift of resisting the urge for human blood, which he would later pass on to his new family. During this time, Carlisle studied vigilantly; becoming a brilliant doctor. At one time, he resided with the Volturi, a group of ancient vampires found in Italy.
When Carlisle moved to the New World, he soon started his own "family" of vampires. He only changed his family through "mercy" killings when he found them already dying. He first saved his oldest "son", Edward Masen Cullen, as he lay dying of the Spanish influenza. Next, came his wife, Esme, who he saved after an attempted suicide attempt. His first "daughter", Rosalie Hale was left dying in the streets by her drunken fiance and his friends. Rosalie found Emmett, and brought him to Carlisle to be changed after he was mauled by a bear. In about 1950, Mary Alice Brandon and Jasper Whitlock joined Carlisle's family, as well, after they sought out the Cullens. All of the family took on the Cullen name, with the exception of Rosalie and Jasper. They use Rosalie's name of "Hale", and they pose as twins to the outside world.
Before Alice and Jasper joined them, the Cullens had lived in the small town of Forks, Washington. In 1936, a treaty was signed by Carlisle Cullen and Ephraim Black stating that, "As long as the Cullens wouldn't hunt or bite any humans, or come on to the Quileute's land - La Push, then the Quileute shape-shifters wouldn't attack them or reveal their presence to the humans.
The Cullens now live in Forks once again, where Carlisle is the Chief Physician at the Forks Hospital.