Ralph Northam was born in Nassawaddox, Virginia on September 13th, 1959. He is a third generation native of the Eastern Shore. Ralph received his schooling in Onancock, where he learned the value of hard work at a young age. He worked as a farmhand, grocery store clerk, and mate on an offshore fishing boat during high school. While balancing classes and work, Ralph also distinguished himself as captain of the both the basketball and baseball teams, and President of Student Government, the Beta Club and the Hi-Y Club. He graduated Salutatorian of his class.
Ralph attended the Virginia Military Institute, where he graduated with distinction and was President of the Honor Court. His summer jobs included working as a captain of a transport boat to Tangier Island and road construction crew member. Ralph then went on to attend Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, graduating in 1984.
Upon graduation from medical school, he completed a pediatric residency at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio and a child neurology fellowship at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. and Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.
He served 8 years active duty in the United States Army, rising to the rank of Major. Ralph was stationed in Landstul, Germany during Desert Storm, where he treated wounded soldiers returning from the front lines. Ralph was honorably discharged in 1992. Since that time, he has worked as a pediatric neurologist in his practice based at Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters in Norfolk.
While maintaining an active practice, Ralph has established himself as a leader in the community. He has 13 years of volunteer service as a Medical Director and a member of the Board of Directors for the Edmarc Hospice for Children. In 2006, he was honored with the Jefferson Award for Community Service Local and State in Washington, D.C. for his outstanding service to the hospice.
In addition to his work as a doctor Ralph is an Assistant Professor of Neurology at Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS). He has received the Hayes Teaching Award from CHKD and the Faculty Teaching Award from EVMS for the past three years running. He also serves as the Medical Director for Edmarc Children’s Hospice in Portsmouth.
As your State Senator, Ralph has worked with members of both parties to improve public health, fight crime, protect the Chesapeake Bay, and control taxes and government spending.