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Maker interview details

Profile image of Ralph Tyler
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  • March 22, 2006



  • Born: June 30, 1950
  • Birth Location: Cleveland, Ohio


  • Favorite Color: Green
  • Favorite Food: Turkey
  • Favorite Time of Year: Spring
  • Favorite Vacation Spot: Caribbean

Favorite Quote

"Let's Have Fun And Make Money."
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Ralph Sheldon Tyler, CEO and president of Ralph Tyler Companies and the son of the founder Ralph C. Tyler and Mabel Saundra Tyler, was born on June 30, 1950 in Cleveland, Ohio. Tracing his ancestors back to slavery through the 1700’s, Tyler is a descendent of James Seneca Tyler, the first African American elected clerk of the Ohio House of Representatives. Tyler’s grandfather, Ralph M. Tyler, was an engineer as was his father, Ralph C. Tyler, a former captain of the Ohio State University Track Team, who attended Cleveland’s Central High School with Langston Hughes. Ralph C. Tyler was the first licensed black civil engineer in Ohio and formed Ralph Tyler Companies in 1978.

Tyler grew up in Cleveland where he attended Miles Standish Elementary School, Moses Cleveland School, Howe Military School and graduated from Shaker Heights High School in 1968. He earned his B.A. degree from Ohio University and his J.D. degree from Case Western Reserve University Law School in 1974.

Tyler’s professional career includes positions with Citibank in New York City and TRW in Cleveland where responsibilities ranged from managing state government relations to overseeing legal and regulatory matters. Prior to joining his father’s business, Tyler served as executive director of the Greater Cleveland Roundtable where he coordinated the group’s activities in education, labor management, race relations and minority economic development.

As CEO and president of Ralph Tyler Companies, Tyler has contributed to the Cleveland community through development projects like the Cleveland Public Library, the Federal Courthouse, the Hopkins Airport expansion and the Cleveland Browns Stadium. The firm has offices in Detroit, Newark, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Toledo. Ralph Tyler Companies is a two time recipient of the Weatherhead 100 Award from Case Western Reserve University. A volunteer for a number of causes in Cleveland, Tyler gives six to seven minority scholarships to young engineering students each year.

Residing in the Cleveland area, Tyler is married to a direct descendent of black inventor, Garrett A. Morgan.

Previews from the Digital Archive


Watch the full interview in the Digital Archive