Born in 1947 in Patterson, New Jersey, Dick Ring got his education at Pennsylvania State University, University of Rhode Island, and George Washington University. He also served in the U.S. Army. He worked for the National Park Service for most of his career. In 1981, Dick became the first superintendent of the newly formed Gates of the Arctic National Park. After leaving Alaska, Dick was the superintendent at Delaware Water Gap National Park and Everglades National Park and . In 2000, he began work in Washington, D.C., as the National Park Service's Associate Director for Park Operations and Education.