A native of North Carolina, Richard worked with the Owens-Illinois Glass Company as a Mold Maker for twenty-one years. During some of that time he served as President of the American Flint Glass Workers Union Local 42. He also was President of the Durham, NC AFL-CIO Labor Council. Richard moved to Georgia in 1977 where he served as President of the American Flint Glass Workers Local Union 6 and as Executive Board Member of the American Flint Glass Workers International Union. From 1983 – 1990 he was President of the Atlanta GA AFL-CIO Labor Council. Mr. Ray served as Secretary-Treasurer of the Georgia State AFL-CIO from l990 – 1999 and then in 1999 was elected President of the Georgia State AFL-CIO where he served until November 2011. He was awarded the honor of President Emeritus of the Georgia AFL-CIO upon retirement.
Richard is presently a member of the Democratic National Committee, Governor’s Workforce Investment Board, the Worker’s Compensation Advisory Board, the Advisory Council of Labor Studies Program at Georgia State University and the Kid’s Chance Board of Directors. Richard and his wife Marion have four children, twelve grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.