His and Woolsey's parents were killed by Shadowhunters for a misunderstanding, and Ralf has since raised and taken care of Woolsey alone.
In 1857, Ralf was among the Downworlders who attended and actively participated in the negotiations for the peace terms with Shadowhunters. When the Nephilim proved unwilling to give much rights to the Downworlders, Ralf initially tried to convince them otherwise; however, when the Shadowhunters continued to refuse, Ralf lost his temper and scratched the table in the London Institute with his claws. After the failed meeting, demons attacked them outside the Institute, which both sides fought alongside each other; during the brief fight, Roderick Morgenstern, Camille Belcourt, and Magnus Bane came to Ralf's aid. Despite this short-lived partnership, both sides could not stop acting hostile towards each other. Ralf suspected the Shadowhunters of luring them there to be killed by demons, while Aloysius Starkweather blamed them for bringing the demons. Dismayed, Ralf finally walked away from the attempt, ensuring that his werewolves will no longer participate.
When Magnus, who was interested in Camille Belcourt, realized that Ralf and Camille shared a mutual interest in one another, he decided to let Ralf have Camille for a while, not wanting to see him heartbroken as he saw Edmund Herondale. Ralf and Camille became lovers for a time, despite the rivalry of his kind and the vampires. Because of this relationship, however, Ralf was murdered on Alexei de Quincey's orders. For this, both Woolsey and Camille has since held a grudge against de Quincey.
After his death, Woolsey was appointed the new leader of the London werewolf pack and was left with the task of avenging Ralf. Woolsey then founded the Praetor Lupus and, despite his seeming reluctance, continued to run it in order to honor his memory and his wishes.