Born in 1942, in Chicago, Kramer grew up in the city's suburb of Skokie, Illinois. He attended the University of Illinois, and after earning his degree, entered Harvard University, from which he received his Juris Doctor. In 1966, he was admitted to the bar, and by 1970, he had risen to the position of assistant district attorney for the state's Fourth Judicial District.
In 1972, Kramer was elected to the Colorado House of Representatives and served for three terms until 1978. That year, he was elected to represent the state's 5th congressional district, filling the vacancy left by U.S. Senator-elect william Armstrong. Kramer held the seat for eight years. In 1986, he retired to run for the United States Senate, but lost the election to Democrat Tim Wirth. Kramer returned to Colorado Springs, Colorado to be an attorney in private practice.
Since retiring, Kramer has held several positions. President Ronald Reagan nominated Kramer to be Assistant Secretary of the Army (Financial Management and Comptroller) on June 10, 1988; the United State Senate confirmed Kramer by unanimous consent on October 14, 1988. He was nominated by President George H.W. Bush and appointed as a Judge on the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims in 1989. He was chief judge for the court until he retired in 2004.