Ben Coes grew up in West Simsbury, Connecticut, where he attended Tootin' Hills Elementary School and Renbrook School. He went away to boarding school in tenth grade, attending Groton School in Groton, Massachusetts. After Groton, Ben went to Columbia College, Columbia University, in New York City, where he was an English major. Ben first started writing short stories when he was at Groton. At Columbia, he studied writing under several novelists, most notably Raymond Kennedy. At graduation, Ben was awarded the university's highest writing award, the Bennett Cerf Memorial Prize for Fiction.
Between Ben's junior and senior years at Columbia he served as a White House Intern during the final year of Ronald Reagan's presidency.
After graduation, encouraged by his godfather, a retired U.S. Navy SEAL, Ben applied for entrance into the U.S. Navy SEALs. He got in but during routine medical screening Navy doctors discovered an undiagnosed flaw in his heart, which disqualified him. In 2011, Ben had successful open-heart surgery at the Cleveland Clinic to repair the flaw in his heart that Navy doctors first identified more than two decades before.
His dream of serving in the military gone, Ben moved to Washington, D.C., where he worked in government, serving as a White House appointed speechwriter to the U.S. Secretary of Energy, Admiral James D. Watkins, during the Gulf War. Ben then went to work for Texas oilman Boone Pickens and then the Governor of California, Pete Wilson, where he met his wife, Shannon, a policy expert on the governor's staff. After that, Ben became a partner at a large buyout firm focused on the transportation sector. After several years, he started his own buyout firm in Boston with two partners. Ben has been a partner at two private equity firms, participating in a wide range of investing activity across a variety of industries. Ben took a sabbatical from his firm in 2002 to run Mitt Romney's victorious campaign for Governor of Massachusetts, Romney's only successful political campaign. Following the campaign, Ben was invited to be a Fellow at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, where he lectured on the strategies necessary for running and winning a successful political campaign.
Throughout Ben's career in government, politics, and finance, he thought about writing. In fact, Ben wrote his first book immediately after graduating from Columbia, a book that he has never had published. In 2008, Ben woke up on New Year's Day and said to his wife, "I think about writing every day, but I never do it." She replied: "Get up and do it." That morning, Ben wrote what would become the first chapter of Power Down.
Ben is now the New York Times bestselling author of international political and espionage thrillers that include Power Down, Coup d’État, The Last Refuge, Eye for an Eye, Independence Day, and First Strike. His seventh novel, Trap the Devil, will be published in June, 2017. All of Ben's novels have been published by St. Martin's Press.
Ben’s books all center on Dewey Andreas, a former U.S. Special Forces soldier who was kicked out of the military after being falsely accused of crimes he did not commit. While fiction, all of Ben’s books are based on current events and are strongly influenced by friends who are or were in the military and/or intelligence circles. Ben credits his godfather, Frederick Marks, the retired Navy SEAL, for influencing and shaping the often violent, authentic nature of his stories.
In 2016, Ben signed a new contract with St. Martin's Press that will continue the Dewey Andreas series as well as begin a new domestic-focused series featuring Rob Tacoma, one of the recurring characters from Ben's books.
Ben lives in Wellesley, Massachusetts and Small Point, Maine, with his wife, Shannon, and their four children, Charlie, Teddy, Oscar, and Esme. They have three English Bulldogs, Mabel, Johnny, and Wrigley. In his free time, Ben likes doing things with his family, playing and watching hockey, playing tennis, upland bird hunting, downhill and cross-country skiing, golf, cooking, travel, and spending time with friends.