Laurence Ralph is a professor of Anthropology at Princeton University and previously a professor at Harvard University for nearly a decade. Ralph earned his Ph.D. and Masters of Arts degree in Anthropology from the University of Chicago and a Bachelor of Science degree from Georgia Institute of Technology.

His research explores how police abuse, mass incarceration, and the drug trade make disease, disability, and premature death seem natural for urban residents of color, who are often seen as disposable. His first book Renegade Dreams (University of Chicago Press, 2014), received the C Wright Mills Award. His second book, The Torture Letters (University of Chicago Press, 2020), explores a decades-long scandal in which hundreds of Black men were tortured in police custody. 

He has received fellowships and grants from the National Science Foundation, the Wenner Gren Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, and the National Research Council of the National Academies. His writing has been featured in The Paris Review, The New York Times, The New York Review of Books, The Nation, The Chicago Review of Books, Boston Review, and Foreign Affairs.