Born in Brooklyn, Ed Hastings spent his entire career in the tourism industry. He began in New York with World Cruises and, later, the famous Waldorf Astoria. When Conrad Hilton purchased the Waldorf, he recognized Ed’s management potential and promoted him to general manager. Like so many talented managers in the hotel industry, Ed’s upward mobility meant moving, and in 1955, Ed moved to Hawaiʻi to manage Matson’s hotels in the islands. With the sale of the Matson properties to Sheraton in 1959, Ed made a move again – moving back to New York to rejoin Conrad Hilton.
With Hilton’s growing business in Hawaiʻi, the company tapped Ed’s experience in the islands by bringing him back to manage the Hilton Hawaiian Village and take on the operations of Hilton Hotels in the Pacific and the far east. His career in Hawaiʻi coincided with the rapid growth of island tourism and he supervised the openings of Hilton hotels in Kona and on Maui.