Decee Cornish is Texas born and was raised in “Fifth Ward,” Houston. At the age of eighteen, Cornish joined the military. For over a decade, he spent year after year living among the peoples of the Pacific Rim, Southeast Asia, Australia, Alaska, and the desert tribes of the Southwest. He attended colleges and universities worldwide, such as Prairieview A & M, the Universities of Guam and Alaska, The University of Maryland at the Philippines and at Japan.
Cornish also works with at-risk kids, mostly preteens and teenagers, using stories to teach and motivate. In 2004, his work with at-risk youth was recognized by the Presidential Commission of the Arts with the “Coming Up Taller Award.” Cornish is often referred to as the “Urban Aesop” and was introduced at a youth rally as the “Bad Boy of Storytelling.” When he asked why he was introduced as such, the student responded that Cornish was “the baddest dude there.” Recently, Cornish has appeared in schools as “Gator Bill,” telling stories of Buffalo Soldiers to students.
A member of the Tarrant Area Guild and National Storytelling Association, he has conducted workshops and performed at Texas Christian University, Texas Wesleyan University, East Texas State University, Texas A & M University, the Lena Pope Home, Texas Youth Commission, the NOSAP Program (Neighborhoods Organized for Substance Abuse Program) and the I Have a Dream Foundation. He has also held Residence positions at Texas A & M University and Tarrant County College. In July 2015 at the National Storytelling Conference, Cornish was one of the storytellers in the South Central Regional Showcase.
Cornish has been a Featured Storyteller at festivals such as Tejas Storytelling Festival and George West Storyfest. In 2012, Cornish wrote and performed the play “To Love This Earth”: A Tribute to George Washington Carver.The Ft. Worth Arts Council awarded Cornish the Live Theater Award, and he has been featured on Breaking Bread, a TV show broadcasted from Atlanta, GA, and hosted by Tonya Starks. He is the StorySlam National Champion.
Cornish is a current member of the Texas Commission on the Arts Artist Touring Roster.