Holt's age and birthday have never been established but he is described by Det. Peralta as being of "advanced age". He is from Brooklyn and grew up in an upper-middle-class household with his sister Debbie, his mother Laverne Holt—a judge on the ninth circuit court—and his unnamed father. An introverted child, Holt largely kept to himself and developed a personality similar to that of his mother. Very little else has been revealed about his upbringing; however, he does reveal that when he was seven years old, he would sneak into his father's study and peek at his father's antiqued globes as a substitute for playing with toys. Holt also kept a diary in his youth.
When Holt grew up, he went on to join the NYPD sometime in the late 1970s or early 1980s. He came out as gay in 1987. As a black, gay police officer, Holt experienced an avalanche of discrimination, profiling, homophobia and slander for many years but fought through it all anyway with his head held high and even went on to marry Kevin Cozner, a classics professor. In addition to decades of police work, during which time he arrested over six hundred people and caught a number of very high profile criminals (e.g. The Disco Strangler), Holt spent eight unhappy years in the public affairs office all the while fighting to become eligible for a command of his own.
Holt got his long-time wish in 2013 when he was promoted to Captain and assigned to Brooklyn's 99th Precinct following the retirement of Capt. McGintley. Holt immediately made his presence felt on his first day by taking the brash Detective Jake Peralta down a peg and issuing new directives to restore some professionalism in the precinct. Having learned about his staff from Sgt. Terry Jeffords, Holt resolved to curtail some of Peralta's more childish habits, making him a better detective in the process and helping him become more mature, thereby making the 99th even better.
In the New Captain, Holt first duty is overseeing that the new mascot for NYPD gets named. He is later made to wear the suit by Wuntch.
In 99, he is considered for promotion to the position of Commissioner, which he tries to sabotage, because his secret dealing with gangster Seamus Murphy compromised him. He is afraid of what he would demand once Holt is in such a high position. Jake, however, convinces him to go for it nonetheless and work out the problem with Murphy as a team. Through a spectacular show of knowledge on Amy's part they manage to arrive just in time for Holt's interview.
In The Suicide Squad, Holt appears to be serving a temporary sentence as a low-ranking patrolman by order of acting-Commissioner Wuntch. Wuntch demotes Holt after finding out that he was promoted to detective without having served the correct amount of time as a regular officer beforehand. (It could be assumed that this temporary change was in return for Lt. Jeffords being allowed to stay at the Nine-Nine because Wuntch is Captain Holt's nemesis and would be unlikely to do him that favour without taking something in return).
New York Herald clipping, Pilot
- Openly Gay Captain Appointed
- By Karen Mitchell
- Staff Writer
- Captain Ray Holt was just appointed as the first openly gay homosexual active police captain in New York City.
- Detectives at Precinct 99 in Brooklyn New York will now be under Holt's command in what many city officials are calling a brave move towards equality in one of the nations most controversial police communities.
- Capt. Holt began service with the rank of Probationary Police Officer, alternatively referred to as PPO, or informally within the department, as a Probie.
- After six months of training at the Police Academy and after successfully completing various Academic, Physical and Tactical tests Capt. Holt graduated the Police Academy and was promoted to the rank of Police Officer and receive a corresponding pay grade increase.
- [Details about NYPD rank structure]
- "Cap ppointment [sic] by the upper brass of the New York Police Department is definitively a welcome shift in hiring procedures which our city so desperately needs," said Council Member Junita Martin.
- Many critics and proponents of openly gay police officers will be watching Capt. Holt's department closely and he is expected to undergo many departmental reviews over the next month as the city increases inspections.
- Detective-Investigators are the type most people associate with the term "detective" and are the ones most frequently portrayed on television and in the movies.
- "Turner and Hooch, that is my favorite detective movie of all time," said Capt. Holt on Tuesday at a press conference in Brooklyn.
- [More generic text on the work of a detective]
- His favorite color is tan.
- He saw John William Weichselbraun perform "Bach's oboe Sonata in G Minor" at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, before being escorted out for gasping too loudly.
- He is the founder of the African-American Gay and Lesbian New York City Policeman's Association (AAGLNYCPA).
- While he prides himself that he doesn't lie, the corner of his mouth moves when he does.
- He has a tattoo in an undisclosed location. Also, it is unknown about what exactly it is.
- He is right-handed.
- He hates the use of the word 'bone' in a sexual context.
- Holt is a skilled dancer.
- His sidearm is a revolver as opposed to the standard pistols used by his colleagues.
- He requires glasses to read.
- On his first day as a police officer, one of the older officers blatantly asked him if he was there to turn himself in.
- Kevin and him attend a class for hula-hooping.
- Holt previously had a gambling addiction.
- He has a Twitter account.
- Kevin and him made an Instagram account where they post photos of Cheddar.
- Kevin and him belong to the Park Slope Racquet Club, where they had taken home the trophy two years in a row in the annual squash doubles tournament.
- Holt's regular breakfast is room-temperature water and one hard-boiled egg yolk.
- Holt only eats omelettes on vacation.
- Both Jake and Amy have accidentally referred to Captain Holt as their dad.
- Doesn't believe in jinxes.
- He only has one dream a year, always on Tax Day, wherein he has to file for extension.
- He starts and ends a text message with "Dear" and "Sincerely, Raymond Holt".
- He is multilingual, apart from his native language- English he knows: French, Spanish, Greek he is also fair with Portuguese and Flemish
- Holt: "I apologize, Marshall Boone, for Detective Peralta's actions, something I find myself doing quite frequently".