Born in Cleveland to DAVID INGALLS and Louise (Harkness), David Jr. graduated from HAWKEN SCHOOL in 1949, attended St. Paul's School in New Hampshire, received his A.B. from Yale University (1956), was a Navy fighter pilot (1956-1960), and received his M.B.A. from Stanford University (1962).
Following his graduation from Stanford, Ingalls returned to Cleveland and joined TRW Inc. where he gained manufacturing and sales experience in missiles and jet engines. Ingalls left TRW in 1969 to help found the Grumman American Aviation Corp., a small aircraft manufacturing company.
Ingalls served as Mayor of Hunting Valley for two terms, 1980-1987. Ingalls was a trustee of the Natural History Museum, 1970-1993 and President of the Board, 1979-1993. Under Ingall's leadership the Museum completed two successful fund-raising drives, first, $8 million for the museum's endowment, and then, a $15.8 million drive to build and endow a new wing. Ingalls was elected a Life Trustee in 1988 and awarded the Harold Terry Clark medal, the Museum's highest honor, in 1992.
Ingalls was active in community affairs as President of the Cleveland Eye Bank, secretary of the WESTERN RESERVE HISTORICAL SOCIETY, and trustee of University Hospitals and Hawken School.
Ingalls married Cynthia Robinson on 16 July 1960 (divorced 1973). They had five children, Rebekah, Louise, Cynthia, David III, and Fay. Ingalls married Katharine Stewart and had two children, Nina and Redmond. Ingalls, an Episcopalian, was buried in Hot Springs, Virginia.