Ralph M. Hall was born in Fate (Rockwall County), Texas, on May 3, 1923, attended the public schools in Rockwall and graduated from Rockwall High School. He joined the U.S. Navy on December 10, 1942, serving as a lieutenant (senior grade) aircraft carrier pilot from 1942 to 1945. Hall attended Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, in 1943; attended the University of Texas, Austin, 1946-1947, and received his LL.B. from Southern Methodist University, Dallas, in 1951. He was admitted to the Texas Bar in 1951 and maintained a private law practice in Rockwall for many years.