Rich Ritter is the son of a father who worked in the aerospace industry and a mother who taught first grade. Born in the Midwest during the Korean War, his family moved to California before he began the first grade. He attended second grade through high school in Anaheim, and then California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo. He graduated with a bachelor of architecture degree. He completed his thesis year in Denmark, and while there met Kristine from Alaska in the balcony of the Royal Danish Ballet during a performance of Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet. He moved to Alaska and married Kris a few years later and has lived there ever since. The author and his wife have two sons.