Edens was born in West Allis, Wisconsin on October 23rd 1964 to American parents. His father, who was an orthopedic surgeon, died when Edens was just 17 years old. His mother raised him and his sister by herself.In 1987 he graduated from Oregon State University’s College of Business with a Bachelor Degree in Finance & General Management and later attended Harvard Business School for two years before dropping out to pursue a career as an entrepreneur in new ventures capital markets.
In 1991, Edens founded Lynx Investment Partners. In 1993 he co-founded The Blackstone Group where he was a managing director and senior partner until 1996. Edens was co-founder and chief executive of the Alliance Entertainment Corporation and in the same year became chief executive of the United Western Communications Corporation which merged with Charter Communications. In 199, he founded Fortress Investment Group LLC with US$600 million in capital commitments from UBS, BlackRock, Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., Credit Suisse First Boston and others.
In 2004 he founded Blackstone Group L.P. in partnership with Stephen A Schwarzman, Peter Peterson, and Allen & Company. The firm has created some $140 billion of wealth to date and is one of the world’s largest alternative investment managers by assets under management . At the same time, Wes Edens co-founded a private equity fund called RK Equity Partners to manage his personal investments with the goal of building a family office through which to invest in companies that provide positive social and environmental impact.
In 2005 he funded the Wes Edens Family Foundation, which is dedicated to helping charitable initiatives that support long-term growth and development in San Diego County. The foundation is committed to programs that benefit education, children and families, veterans, healthcare and the environment. At this time he also served on several boards of various educational institutions and non-profit organisations such as the San Diego Symphony Orchestra, the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, the Greenhill School and Children’s Hospital of San Diego. He was also a member of New York City’s Economic Development Corporation. In 2008 he helped to bring LeBron James back to Cleveland by investing in his sports management company LRMR. He made an estimated $25 million from this investment in only two years .