46 Facts About David Geffen


David Lawrence Geffen was born on February 21,1943 and is an American business magnate, producer and film studio executive.


David Geffen co-created Asylum Records in 1971 with Elliot Roberts, Geffen Records in 1980, DGC Records in 1990, and DreamWorks SKG in 1994.


David Geffen was born in Borough Park, Brooklyn, New York, to Abraham Geffen and Batya Volovskaya.


David Geffen graduated from Brooklyn's New Utrecht High School in 1960 with a "barely passing 66 average".


David Geffen attended the University of Texas at Austin for a semester, and then Brooklyn College, before again dropping out.


David Geffen then moved to Los Angeles, California to find his way in the entertainment business.


David Geffen attended Santa Monica College in Santa Monica, California, but soon left.


David Geffen modified the letter to show that he had attended and graduated, then submitted it to WMA.


David Geffen left William Morris to become a personal manager and was immediately successful with Laura Nyro and Crosby, Stills and Nash.


When David Geffen was engaged in the process of looking for a record deal for young Jackson Browne, Atlantic Records founder Ahmet Ertegun suggested that David Geffen start his own record label.


David Geffen co-founded Asylum Records in 1971 with Elliot Roberts after David Geffen was unable to get Jackson Browne a record deal anywhere else.


David Geffen remained in charge until December 1975, when he went to work as vice chairman of Warner Bros.


David Geffen then retired and in 1977 was informed that he had cancer.


In 1980 a new medical diagnosis revealed the error in the original diagnosis and David Geffen was given a clean bill of health, whereupon he decided to return to working in the entertainment industry.


The November 1980 release of John Lennon's album Double Fantasy seems an impressive feat for a new label, but at the time Lennon stated that David Geffen was the only one with enough confidence in him to agree to a deal without hearing the record first.


Yoko Ono, Lennon's wife and partner, stated that David Geffen was the only label head to pay attention to her.


Records since its inception but, in 1990, the label was sold to MCA Records with David Geffen receiving shares in MCA worth $550 million.


David Geffen continued to run the label before leaving David Geffen Records in 1995.


David Geffen was the Broadway backer for the musicals Dreamgirls and Cats.


In 1994, David Geffen co-founded the DreamWorks SKG studio with Steven Spielberg and Jeffrey Katzenberg.


Until 2017, David Geffen owned a Malibu compound on Carbon Beach.


In 1983 David Geffen received permits from the California Coastal Commission to build a Cape Cod-style compound over multiple beachfront lots in exchange for creating a public pathway to the beach.


David Geffen failed to build that pathway, and in 2002, filed a lawsuit to block public access altogether.


The Coastal Commission later contacted the state transportation department without receiving a response to ask if the curb cuts that prevented public parking were valid, amid rumors that David Geffen had installed four fake garage doors.


On December 13,2012, UCLA announced that David Geffen had donated another $100 million in addition to his 2002 donation of $200 million, making him the largest individual benefactor for the UC system.


In 2015, David Geffen pledged $100 million toward renovation of what was then called Avery Fisher Hall, part of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York.


In December 2020, David Geffen pledged to donate $46 million to the UCLA medical school, which is named after him.


In June 2021, David Geffen gave $150 million to the Yale School of Drama.


In September 2021, Columbia Business School announced that David Geffen had made a gift of $75 million to support the school's new facilities in the Manhattanville neighborhood, north of Columbia's main campus.


David Geffen is a donor to Democratic Party candidates and organizations, and was an early financial supporter of President Bill Clinton.


David Geffen was named one of the 2010 recipients of Ahmet Ertegun Award from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.


David Geffen was awarded with the President's Merit Award for "indelible contributions to the music industry" from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences at the 53rd Grammy Awards in February 2011.


David Geffen has an estimated net worth of $10.8 billion, making him one of the richest people in the entertainment industry.


Joni Mitchell and David Geffen were close friends and, in the early 1970s, made a trip to Paris with Robbie Robertson and Robertson's wife, Dominique.


David Geffen can be heard on Barbra Streisand's The Broadway Album, released in 1985.


Geffen is the subject of several books, most recently The Operator: David Geffen Builds, Buys, and Sells the New Hollywood by Tom King, who initially had Geffen's cooperation, but later did not.


David Geffen is a featured character in Mailroom: Hollywood History From The Bottom Up by David Rensen, in Mansion On The Hill by Fred Goodman, in Hotel California by Barney Hoskyns, and in several books about Michael Ovitz.


David Geffen was the subject of an American Masters PBS television documentary entitled Inventing David Geffen.


Mitchell Geffen fathered two daughters, who are David's closest surviving relatives.


In February 2020, David Geffen sold his Beverly Hills estate to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos for $165 million, a price believed to be the highest ever paid for a home in a California real estate transaction.


In June 2020, David Geffen purchased Casey Wasserman's Beverly Hills estate for $68 million.


David Geffen is a keen collector of American artists' work, including Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko and Willem de Kooning.


Wealth-X reported in June 2013 that David Geffen owns the most valuable private art collection in the world, and estimated its worth at $1.1B at the time.


In February 2016, Bloomberg News reported that David Geffen had sold De Kooning's 1955 oil painting, Interchanged, for $300 million, and Pollock's 1948 painting, Number 17A, for $200 million, both to hedge fund billionaire Ken Griffin.


In 2007, David Geffen bought a half-share in friend Larry Ellison's luxury yacht Rising Sun, then at 138 meters the sixth largest motor yacht in the world.


David Geffen has been ranked the most polluting individual American and second most polluting individual in the world, largely due to his yachts.