Volesky was born in Bullhead, South Dakota on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation. Volesky graduated from Harvard University in 1976 with a degree in Government and International Relations and was a finalist for the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship.  While at Harvard, Volesky played varsity basketball and was coached by Boston Celtics Hall of Famer Tom "Satch" Sanders. 
Volesky lives in Huron, S.D. and is an enrolled member of the Standing Rock Tribe.
Volesky represented an estimated 800 former workers in the significant class action case, Kirkvold v. Dakota Pork Industries, Inc., et al., when the Dakota Industries Plant in Huron, South Dakota shut down in 1997. The case involved bringing litigation against Dakota Pork Industries, Inc. due to failure of the company to comply with the federal requirements under the WARN Act. As a result, there were significant pleadings involved and briefing and discovery work and the matter was set for trial but prior to the same settled.
In the Matter of J.H., Abused or Neglected Child, Volesky represented a grandmother in her efforts to adopt her grandchild. Her grandchild was the victim of an abuse and neglect case in Lyman County and the parents' parental rights were eventually terminated. After termination, Volesky litigated to assist the grandmother in getting custody of the child and eventually being able to adopt the child. As a result, Judge Max Gors ruled in favor of the grandmother, but the case appealed to the Supreme Court and reversed on the basis that the Court did not have jurisdiction to place the child with the grandmother rather than the Department of Social Services. After further litigation and negotiations, the State dropped its efforts to block the adoption and eventually approved that adoption for the grandmother.
Volesky represents Debra Jenner-Tyler of Huron, who is serving a life sentence for the murder of her 3-year-old daughter Abby. In 1987, Jenner-Tyler brutally stabbed her daughter roughly 70 times. Volesky speaks for Jenner-Tyler, as she routinely seeks parole from the Parole Board. Jenner-Tyler has repeatedly been denied parole.
Volesky is highly noted for his abilities as an electrifying public speaker. He was regarded as one of the most dynamic and charismatic public speakers during his time state politics. According to longtime South Dakota journalist Bob Mercer, "Ron was the greatest orator of modern times in the South Dakota State Legislature. He once delivered a speech in the House of Representatives that rivaled Martin Luther King Jr. for its logic, passion, and power." [my605.com/pierrereview/?p=bszeiksqs&paged=337].
Volesky has been an active member of both the Republican and Democratic parties in South Dakota. He has served in local and state government and made several attempts for higher state office.
Volesky served three years as city commissioner in Huron and 16 years in the State Senate.
In 2002, he ran for governor and finished second in a four-way Democratic primary to Jim Abbott.
Volesky again ran for governor of South Dakota in 2004 with his intention to be the Democratic candidate opposing Republican Mike Rounds. But he abandoned his bid on February 22, 2006, citing an inability to raise funds.
In August 2009, Volesky again announced his intention to run for governor of South Dakota. He was the fifth candidate to enter the race and the second Democratic candidate. According to year-end campaign finance reports, Volesky hadn't created or spent any money on or for his campaign.
Volesky also was the Democratic nominee for attorney general in 2002 and 2006.