Maluginensis was from the patrician Cornelii Maluginenses, one of the oldest attested branches of the gens Cornelia. It is possible that he carried the agnomen of "Tricostus". He was the father of Lucius Cornelius Maluginensis Uritus Cossus (consul of 459 BC) and the great-grandfather of Marcus Cornelius Maluginensis (decemvir in 450 BC, and decemvir with consular power between 450 and 449 BC).
In 485 BC, he was elected consul with Quintus Fabius Vibulanus. At the beginning of their term, Spurius Cassius Vecellinus was condemned for perduellio by the quaestors Kaeso Fabius Vibulanus and Lucius Valerius Potitus Publicola, and was put to death. The consuls launched raids into the lands of the Veii, with Vibulanus winning a new victory against the Volsci and the Aequi. Instead of dividing the plunder amongst the soldiers, which was the traditional practice, Vibulanus offered all of it to the public treasury, which made him very unpopular among the people and the soldiers.
He later became flamen quirinalis, the flamen devotee in the cult of Quirinus, and held this title until 453 BC, the probable year of his death, during an epidemic of pestilence or typhus which also took the consul Sextus Quinctilius Varus and consul suffect Spurius Furius Medullinus Fusus who replaced him.