He came from Fanxian 蕃縣 (modern Tengzhou 滕州, Shandong) and was an errant knight during his youth and earned his money through cockfights. As an adult he became a disciple of Master Ying 嬴公, an expert in the Confucian Classic Chunqiu 春秋 "Spring and Autumn Annals". For this expertise Sui Hong was appointed court gentleman for consultation (yilang 議郎) and later promoted to manager of credentials (fujieling 符節令).
In 78 BCE he submitted a memorial that presented a cosmological explanation to two strange phenomena that had occurred, namely a stone that had grown up form the earth, and a withered tree that greened again. He said that this was a sign that a subdued family would rise again. This was the reason why he was arrested and executed by the powerful regent Huo Guang 霍光.