Edwards studied at the University of Saskatchewan, graduating with a Bachelor of Commerce (honours), after which he obtained an LL.B from the University of Toronto in 1983. He would later also receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the University of Saskatchewan. In 2013, he received an honorary law degree from the University of Toronto. Through a substantial contribution to the University of Saskatchewan in 2007, the College of Commerce was renamed the N. Murray Edwards School of Business. He was appointed as a member of the Order of Canada in 2013.
Edwards is linked to six corporations that have donated a total of $436,227 in campaign contributions to the B.C. Liberal Party since 2005, including $153,480 from oil company Canadian Natural Resources, which he chairs, as well as $131,390 from Imperial Metals, where he is the controlling shareholder and which owns the Mount Polley gold mine in British Columbia, amongst others. In 2013, he helped organize a $1-million fundraiser in Calgary for B.C. Premier Christy Clark’s re-election bid.
Edwards has more at stake in the Canadian oil sands than possibly any other individual. His company, Canadian Natural Resources, has sketched out plans to spend $25 billion to turn the bitumen-bearing sand found in northern Alberta into barrels of crude oil. This media shy lawyer-turned-financier also owns big stakes in Ensign Energy, Canada's second biggest oil services company, and Penn West, one of Canada's biggest Energy trusts. In the Calgary Herald’s 2015 executive compensation survey, Edwards’ 2014 earnings as chairman of Calgary-based Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. were rated fourth highest of the city’s 100 largest publicly traded companies at $12.7 million. He also earned almost $2 million as chairman of Ensign Energy Services Inc. Much of his compensation from both companies was in the form of stock options. He owns Resorts of the Canadian Rockies, which owns Fernie Alpine Resort, Kimberley Alpine Resort, Nakiska, Stoneham Mountain Resort, Mont-Sainte-Anne, and Kicking Horse Resort. He owns shares of the Calgary Flames hockey team. He owns over 30% of a management and holding company, Jovian Capital Corp. Edwards is Chairman of the Board of Magellan Aerospace Corporation and the majority holder of Magellan Aerospace, owning ~76% of Common Shares.