Ralph Hamilton was born November 21, 1928, in Hillsboro, Ohio. He received a bachelor's degree in agricultural economics from Ohio State University in 1949, a master's degree in agricultural journalism from the University of Wisconsin in 1955, and a doctorate in mass communications, also from the University of Wisconsin, in 1969.
Following graduation from Ohio State, he joined The Ohio Farmer magazine as an assistant editor until he entered the military in 1951. After two years in the military, he returned to The Ohio Farmer. In 1955, he became assistant agricultural editor at Michigan State University.
He moved to Tennessee in 1960 to become editor and head of the department of information. In 1973, he became director of public information at Oklahoma State University.
In addition to ACE, he is a member of Sigma Delta Chi, Alpha Zeta, Gamma Sigma Delta, the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, Epsilon Sigma Phi and the Stillwater Lions Club.
Hamilton retired from OSU in January 1993 after 17 years as director of information and publications services and three years in the office of the vice president for university relations and public affairs.
His retirement years have been spent in domestic and foreign travel and participating in community activities. He is on the board of directors of the Friends of the Oklahoma Museum of Higher Education.