The son of a Mexican American father who immigrated to the United States as an orphan at the age of 15, Delgado grew up in a migratory household and attended public schools as a child. He earned an A.B. in philosophy and mathematics at the University of Washington, and then attended the UC-Berkeley School of Law, where he earned a J.D. and served as an editor of the California Law Review.
He currently teaches at University of Alabama School of Law, where he holds the John J. Sparkman Chair of Law and teaches courses in race and civil rights. Earlier, he taught at UCLA Law School for eight years and the University of Colorado for 14.
A prolific scholar whose works have appeared in top law reviews and presses and received numerous national awards, Delgado is an amateur cloud-watcher, retired track athlete, and fiction writer.
Delgado, Richard; Lederer, Laura (1995). The Price we pay: the case against racist speech, hate propaganda, and pornography. New York: Hill and Wang. ISBN9780809015771.
Delgado, Richard (1995). The Rodrigo chronicles: conversations about America and race. New York: New York University Press. ISBN9780814718636.
Delgado, Richard (1996). The coming race war?: and other apocalyptic tales of America after affirmative action and welfare. New York: New York University Press. ISBN9780814718773.
Delgado, Richard; Stefancic, Jean (1997). Must we defend Nazis? hate speech, pornography, and the new First Amendment. New York: New York University Press. ISBN9780585346793.
Delgado, Richard; Stefancic, Jean (1997). Critical white studies: looking behind the mirror. Philadelphia: Temple University Press. ISBN9781566395328.
Delgado, Richard (1999). When equality ends: stories about race and resistance. Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press. ISBN9780813335780.
Delgado, Richard; Harris, Angela P.; Stefancic, Jean; Perea, Juan F.; Wildman, Stephanie M. (2000). Race and races: cases and resources for a diverse America (2nd ed.). St. Paul, Minnesota: West Group. ISBN9780314227096.
Delgado, Richard; Stefancic, Jean (2004). Understanding words that wound. Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press. ISBN9780813341392.
Delgado, Richard (2005). Justice at war: civil liberties and civil rights during times of crisis. New York City, New York: New York University Press. ISBN9780814719565.
Delgado, Richard; Stefancic, Jean (2011). The Latino/a condition: a critical reader (2nd ed.). New York: New York University Press. ISBN9780814720400.
Delgado, Richard (2012). Critical race theory an introduction (2nd ed.). New York: New York University Press. ISBN9780814721353.