10 Fun Facts About Ray West (Kanye West’s Father): Net Worth, Age, Job, Kids, Married Wife, Girlfriend, Wiki, Bio

Ray West is a photographer best known as the dad of renowned rapper and entrepreneur, Kanye West. His biography explored below.

Kanye West, also known as Ye, is American producer, rapper, and fashion designer who parlayed his production success in the late 1990s and early 2000s into a career as a popular, critically acclaimed solo artist.

West gained recognition as a producer for Roc-A-Fella Records in the early 2000s, producing singles for several artists and developing the “chipmunk soul” sampling style. Intent on pursuing a solo career as a rapper, he released his debut studio album, The College Dropout (2004), to critical and commercial success. He founded the record label GOOD Music later that year. 

In 2022, entrepreneur and musician Kanye West lost his lucrative multi-year deal to design sneaker brand Yeezy for Adidas after making antisemitic comments. This plummeted his fortune and removed him from being a billionaire to a millionaire.

We know Ye, to the core! But a little is known about his father, Ray West.

Ray West is the father of a celebrity but continues to live a low-key life even when he can afford to live a flashy life. He has shown that a man can go through some of the most challenging periods of his life and still maintain humanity, ethics, and social value. Below is everything you need to know about Ray West.

Profile Summary
Full Name:Ray West
Net Worth:$1 million to $5 million
Profession:Photo-Journalist, entrepreneur, philanthropist and activist
Birthdate:28th August 1949
Age:73 years old (as of 2023)
Birthplace:Tucson, Arizona, United States of America
Current Residence:Dominican Republic
Zodiac Sign:Virgo
Parents:James Frederick West Sr, Fannie B. West
Siblings:James Jr, Wayne, Jeanette, Wanda, and Sheila
Marital Status:Divorced
Grandchildren: North, Psalm, Chicago, and Saint West
Ray West, father of Kanye West

Who is Ray West?

Ray West is most popularly known as the father of the award-winning rapper, Kanye West. Although he had been doing his thing within the entertainment industry and trying to make a positive difference in the world in whatever way he could, he never became famous until his only son, Kanye, shot into the limelight.

Ray West is popularly known for his photography skills and undying desire to help the less privileged. He has been helping people who have and are still falling at risk for the consequences of societal problems. He is a role model for his offspring and the people around him.

Background information

The photo-journalist and activist was born on the 28th August 1949, in Tucson, Arizona, United States of America. Kanye West’s father is currently 72 years old.

Ray’s parents were James Frederick West Sr. and Fannie B. West, and he lived together with his five siblings: James Jr, Wayne, Jeanette, Wanda, and Sheila West.

However, nothing is public about Kanye West’s dad’s education. So, it is unknown whether he obtained a tertiary degree or not.

Kanye and his father bond in the music video for Follow God. Photo: @bellanaija Source: Twitter


Ray West has tried his hands on several professions, and even right now, he is somewhere in the Dominican Republic doing something new. He is mostly known for his participation in the Black Panther Movement between the 1960s and 1970s, though this association ended after his only child, Kanye, was born.

He went on to work as a photo-journalist with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and is credited with great works like the pictures of civil rights activist Reverend Ralph David Abernathy, President of United States, Ronald Reagan, and the portrait of civil rights activist and poet, Maya Angelou. He held his own in that profession.

Kanye also revealed during an interview that his father worked other odd jobs like owning a store, being a paparazzo, and acting as a counsellor to young Christian couples.

The Good Water Store and Cafe is something that Ray is dedicated to, and he uses it to help alleviate the problem of basic water infrastructure that his community suffers from. This was as far back as 2006 in Lexington Park, Maryland, United States of America.

At some point, he decided to embark on a charity endeavour and chose the Dominican Republic as the country where his works would make more sense. He has been living there since then and only visits America occasionally.

Kanye and his father. Photo: @kkwlive Source: Instagram

Personal life

Ray has been involved with several women and married at least three. His first wife was Donda West (Neé Williams), an author and educator.

Interestingly, Donda had a child with Ray in 1977, although the couple divorced when Kanye, their child, was about three years old. Therefore, Donda was primarily responsible for Kanye’s upbringing because he stayed with her and only visited his dad during the summer holidays.

After the divorce, Ray, who resides in Atlanta, got married to Cheryl Carmichael West and later Brenda Bentley. But, unfortunately, both marriages also ended in a divorce.

Kanye with his parents. Photo: @PhotosOfKanye Source: Twitter

Ray West-Kanye West relationship

Kanye West might have spent most of his life with his mother, Donda, but he is filled with the utmost respect for his dad. Even though he only got to see him on holiday, Kanye thinks Ray tried his best to ensure that some of his basic needs were met while he was growing up.

Kanye talked about some of his father’s sacrifices in songs like Father Stretch My Hands, a single track off his Life of Pablo album. The rapper said he cried as he penned the song and professed his love for his father.

The song’s lyrics noted how badly he missed him and how much he identified with his pains, including different divorces. Ray was also featured in Kanye’s music video for Follow God’s track.

Is Ray West still alive?

Yes, he is alive and lives in the Dominican Republic. He received positive results from a prostate cancer diagnosis. He travelled back to America to have this treated and spent most of the time bonding with his son, Kanye, on the latter’s 4000-acre ranch.

Ray’s ex-wife thinks he is putting himself at risk every day by choosing to remain in the Dominican Republic amidst the intense earthquakes and high rate of crimes in the area.

What is Ray West’s net worth?

Ray West’s net worth or net income is estimated to be $1 million – $4 million dollars. He has made such an amount of wealth from his primary career as a photographer.

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