He was born on July 23, 1946 in Boston, Massachusetts. He was raised in Acushnet. At age eighteen, he became a protégé of Andy Warhol. He appeared in the Warhol movies Kitchen (1965), Chelsea Girls (1966), and The Andy Warhol Story (1966). In the 1980s, he wrote a series of influential essays for Artforum magazine. Ricard was openly gay. At the time of his death, he was living at the Hotel Chelsea in Manhattan, New York City with his partner, Rita Barros, a Portuguese artist and photographer.
- "Rene Ricard biography". vitoschnabel.com. Retrieved February 15, 2014.
- "Rene Ricard, Poet, Painter, Art Critic and Warhol Superstar, Dead". Rolling Stone. February 1, 2014. Retrieved February 15, 2014.