Ray was born December 10, 1923 in Pampa in their home located about 1 block south of the Hughes Building. There was no hospital in Pampa at that time. His parents were Ivy Duncan and Mattie Kirk Duncan. Ray attended Pampa schools through the tenth grade but graduated from high school from Kemper Military School in Boonville, Missouri in 1940. Staying there for his freshman year of college, he then joined his brother, Kirk Duncan, at the University of Texas in Austin, entering the Business Administration School.