He then served in the United States Navy during World World War II, from 1944 to 1946. After the war, Ray was a farmer and local businessman before serving as mayor of Perry, Georgia, from 1964 to 1970. During that time Sam Nunn was city attorney, and after Nunn"s election to the United States Senate in 1972, Ray became Nunn"s administrative assistant.
In 1982, Ray was elected as a Democrat to the United States House of Representatives representing Georgia"s 3rd congressional district in 1982.
He was re-elected to that position four times. After the 1990 Census, Georgia picked up a congressional district.
Despite this, the Democratic-controlled Georgia General Assembly, seeing a chance to get rid of Newt Gingrich, dismantled his old 6th District and shifted much of the southern portion of Gingrich"s old territory into Ray"s Columbus-based district. However, the new territory was considerably more urban and Republican than Ray"s old territory.
Ray lost to Republican state senator Mac Collins, a resident of the former Gingrich territory, by almost 10 points.
After his congressional service, Ray resided in both Byron, Georgia and Alexandria, Virginia. He died in 1999 in Macon, Georgia.
Member Perry City Council, 1962-1964. President Georgia Municipal Association, 1969-1970. Board stewards Perry 1st United Methodist Church.
Married Barbara Elizabeth Giles, 1947. Children: Susan, Charles, Alan.