Jose Yulo (1894 -1976) was born on September 24, 1894 in Bago City, Negros Occidental, Republic of the Philippines. The fifth child of Sofronio and Segunda Yulo, his mother died when he was six and was completely orphaned at 12 years of age.

A product of the American Public School system, his formative years were further strengthened by the efforts of his three elder sisters who were likewise public school teachers. His first three years of high school at the Rizal Institute in Bacolod saw him constantly at the top of his class. He transferred to Manila High School in 1910 where he graduated with honors the following year together with two future Presidents of the Republic, classmates Jose P. Laurel and Elpidio Quirino.