Ray West; What Is Kanye West’s Father Doing Now? His Job, Age & Facts

Published Date: 10 Dec, 2020 Updated date: 10 Dec, 2020 By Daniel Roffer

Ray West seldom comes to the media spotlight for the relationship with his only son Kanye West. The father of the 2020 US President Candidate, he has now recovered from the tragic health-related issues back in 2018.

Ray West is the father of Grammy Award-winning American rapper, record producer, and fashion designer Kayne West. A photojournalist by profession, he also became a Christian marriage counselor and a medical illustrator.

Ray West Bio; Age, Parents, Ethnicity

Ray was born on 28 August 1949 in Tucson, Arizona, the United States that makes him 71 years of age. He is one of the six children of parents James Frederick West, Sr. and Fannie B. West. His father was a military man and his mother was a housewife.

West grew up with five siblings; two brothers James Jr. and Wayne and three sisters, Juanette, Wanda, and Sheila. He is of African-American by ethnicity. His great-great-grandparents were free people of color and of Mary Holloway according to the wiki sources.

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What Was His Job?

Ray did many struggles to raise his family. He once held the job as a vacuum cleaner salesman. He was a member of the Black Panther Party (BPP) during the 1960s and 70s. Later, he left the party and started a job in the photography business. He worked as an aerial photojournalist for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution during the 1980s.

His remarkable work includes a portrait of poet and civil rights activist Maya Angelou, photos of the Rev. Ralph David Abernathy, and photos of President Ronald Reagan in 1983. Similarly, in 2006, he opened the Good Water Store and Café in Lexington Park, Maryland with the money lent from his son. Following his retirement, he became a Christian marriage counselor and also a medical illustrator.

How He Met His To-Be Wife Donda Williams?

Ray first met his future-wife Donda Williams at Spelman College, where she was a full-time worker. Donda was impressed by his honesty and sincerity. They had their first date in Greenbriar Mall and later had dinner at Piccadilly Cafeteria.


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After dating for three months, they tied the wedding knot on 1st January 1973 at a church in Oklahoma City. Their son Kanye was born on 8 June 1977. Ray and Donda divorced in 1980 when Kanye was three years old. He later remarried Cheryl Carmichael West.

What Is Ray West Doing Now?

The 71-year-old sometimes comes into headlines for getting spotted alongside his son Kanye. He remained out of the media spotlight until he suffered from health-related issues.

In 2018, Ray was diagnosed with prostate cancer and had his treatment at a health facility in Los Angeles. Kanye is much close to his father after his mother’s death. Recently, in 2019, the father-son appeared together in a music video of Kanye’s single “Follow God.” The song details the previously turbulent relationship between them.

Ray is a grandfather to four kids; North West, Saint West, Psalm West, and Chicago West. All of the kids were born from the marital relationship of his son Kanye and Kim Kardashian. It looks like Ray is enjoying his family life after his health-related tragedy.

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Some Interesting Facts About Ray West

  • Ray is one of the first African American men to work for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
  • His father James died after a long illness at age 81 on 28 December 2006.
  • His ex-wife Donda West died of a heart attack on 10 November 2007, one day after she had several cosmetic surgery procedures, including liposuction, a tummy tuck, and breast reduction.
Category: Biography