He attended the Fine Arts Department of the Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and graduated from Pennsylvania State College at State College, Pennsylvania in 1924 and from Harvard Law School as a Doctor of Laws in 1927.
He served in the Pennsylvania State Senate in 1939 and 1940. He was solicitor for Dormont Borough in 1942. He worked as publisher of the Mount Lebanon News and several other newspapers.
Military service During the Second World War he enlisted in the United States Naval Reserve in 1942 and served in the South Pacific as a lieutenant until discharged in 1945.
In 1944, while still in the service, Fulton was elected as a Republican to the 79th United States Congress, and reelected to the 13 succeeding Congresses, serving from January 3, 1945, until his death from a heart attack in Washington, District of Columbia on October 6, 1971. While in Congress he was delegated to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Employment at Havana in 1947 and 1948, and to the 14th General Assembly of United Nations in 1959.
He was a delegate to 1956 Republican National Convention. In addition he served as an adviser on space to the United States Mission at the United Nations from 1960 to 1969.
Space Shuttle Fulton is credited with saving the Space Shuttle program
After a heart attack in 1970, Fulton emerged from an ambulance to propose a compromise that eventually saved the funding for the program He died of a heart attack on October 6, 1971 in Washington, District of Columbia He is buried in Mountain. Lebanon Cemetery in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
As a memorial to Fulton, the Pittsburgh Foundation has created The Fulton Legislative Internship Program in his honor.
The Congressman James Grove Fulton Memorial Post Office Building in Pittsburgh is named after him.
He was a member of the Allegheny County Board of Law Examiners from 1934 to 1942. He was a member of the American Judicature Society, United World Federalists, American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars.