Sullivan Iheanacho Chime was born on 10 April 1959 at Park Lane Hospital, GRA, Enugu, Enugu State. He attended the College of Immaculate Conception (CIC) in Enugu for his secondary education (1971 – 1976). He studied Law at the University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus, graduating in 1980. He then enrolled at the Nigerian Law School, Lagos and graduated on 10 July 1981, when he was called to the bar.
For the next seventeen years he ran a private legal practice in Enugu. He was Secretary of Nigeria Bar Association, Enugu branch (1992 – 1994). Later, he was appointed Special Adviser (Legal Matters) to the Governor of Enugu State, Dr. Chimaroke Nnamani. In 2001, he was appointed Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice of Enugu State.
Sullivan Chime was elected governor of Enugu State in April 2007, taking office on 29 May 2007. He is a member of the People's Democratic Party (PDP). He was re-elected on 26 April 2011.
Sullivan Chime is married to Clara Chime, and they have children: Ada, Nnamdi, Tochukwu, Ezinne, Ugomsi.