Rich was born and raised in western Pennsylvania. He graduated from the United State Military Academy at West Point with the Class of 1968. After service in Vietnam and as the Battery Commander of a Nike Hercules Air Defense Missile Unit, Rich was selected to attend Boston College Law School. He graduated in 1974 and was admitted to the Pennsylvania Bar the same year.
Rich retired from the Army in 1988 after service on the staff and faculty at West Point, and in Germany, Alabama, and at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey.
He has been a member of the New Jersey Bar since 1987 and he served as a New Jersey Deputy Attorney General from 1988 to 1991. He then opened his own practice in Allenhurst, New Jersey.
Rich married his wife, Nancy, in 1970. Nancy, is a social worker with Interfaith Neighbors, Inc., in Asbury Park, New Jersey. They have two children and one grandchild.