Richard Ritter was born in Detroit, but grew up in rural Michigan near the small town of Novi. While in his senior year at Northville High School, Richard had the good fortune to meet a very special art teacher named John Van Haren, who encouraged him to pursue a career in art. After attending the Society of Arts and Crafts (presently the College for Creative Studies) in Detroit from 1959 to 1962, Richard left school to take a job with an advertising firm.
In 2009, Richard celebrated 40 years of working in glass with a retrospective exhibition at the Toe River Arts Council in Spruce Pine, North Carolina. This exhibition featured over 75 works in glass from 1969 to 2009, and travelled to Western Carolina University in January 2010.