Ralph grew up in Avella, Pennsylvania, a small rural community outside of Pittsburgh. He attended the University of Pittsburgh, where he was a two-time All-American and All-East in football, as well as the Eastern Champion and an All-American in wrestling. He is in the Pennsylvania Hall of Fame and WPIAL Hall of Fame in both football and wrestling.
He was a fifth round NFL draft choice of the Atlanta Falcons and played professional football with the Houston Oilers and the New England Patriots for four years. While playing for the Houston Oilers, Ralph attended South Texas College of Law.
After retiring from football, Ralph opened his own law practice and began representing professional football players. Throughout his career as a football agent, he negotiated over a billion dollars worth of contracts, represented over 30 first round draft choices and his clients appeared in over 40 Pro Bowls. Ralph was twice named “100 Most Powerful in Sports” by Sporting News, and he listed among the Top NFL agents by Pro Football Weekly and USA Today.
Ralph’s intimate knowledge of the business of football allowed him to also serve as an expert witness providing his unmatched opinions on an athlete’s earning power. He was retained in such notable cases as OJ McDuffie, Kory Stringer, and the David Griggs death case.
He is a Martindale Hubbell AV Preeminent 5.0 out of 5 Peer Review Rated Attorney and recipient of the Legal Intelligencer’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Ralph’s legal experience includes business law, murder trials, and Tax Court litigation. He is the inaugural Chairman of the Allegheny County Bar Association Sports Law Committee. He also helped create and lead the Pennsylvania Bar Institute’s “CLE at PNC Park” sports law series. Ralph has spoken at numerous law schools and universities regarding his experience as an agent and sports attorney. He also created and taught ABA accredited summer sports law programs for two years in Florence, Italy and one year in Switzerland.
Ralph’s experience in football led him to write “NFL Brawler”: A Player-Turned-Agent’s Forty Years in the Bloody Trenches of the National Football League, published by Lyons Press. Ralph’s book is a behind the scenes look at the NFL from a former player and agent’s perspective, providing entertaining and insightful stories about players, owners, and other agents.