Ralph Tucker was born August 16, 1947 in Winthrop, Massachusetts. His father, Ralph Tucker Sr., was an Episcopalian clergyman and his mother, Mildred, was a nurse and teacher. He attended Betty B. Winslow School, New Bedford, Burlington High School and Hobart College in Geneva, New York. He majored in Political Science and was involved in the International Relations Club. He was a conscientious objector to the Vietnam War. He married in the spring of 1971 and entered law school in the fall of 1971, focusing on labor law. He joined the law practice of McTeague, Higbee in early 1977.
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Robitaille, Jeremy, "Tucker, Ralph oral history interview" (2001). Edmund S. Muskie Oral History Collection. 391.