The Info List - David Geffen

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David Lawrence Geffen (born February 21, 1943)[2] is an American business magnate, producer, film studio executive, and philanthropist. Geffen created or co-created Asylum Records in 1970, Geffen Records in 1980, DGC Records
DGC Records
in 1990, and DreamWorks SKG
DreamWorks SKG
in 1994. His donations to the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
and other educational and research donations have widened his fame beyond the entertainment industry.


1 Early life 2 Business career

2.1 Asylum Records 2.2 Geffen Records 2.3 Geffen Film/DreamWorks SKG

3 Coastal Access 4 Philanthropy 5 Politics 6 Awards and honors 7 Personal life

7.1 Art collection 7.2 Yachts

8 See also 9 References 10 External links

Early life David Geffen was born in Borough Park, Brooklyn, New York, to Abraham Geffen and Batya Volovskaya (1909—1988). Geffen's mother owned a clothing store in Borough Park called Chic Corsets by Geffen.[3][4] Both of his parents were Jewish immigrants who met in British-mandated Palestine and then moved to the United States.[5] Geffen graduated from Brooklyn's New Utrecht High School
New Utrecht High School
in 1960 with a 66 percent average. He attended the University of Texas at Austin
University of Texas at Austin
for a semester, and then Brooklyn College, before again dropping out. He then moved to Los Angeles, California
Los Angeles, California
to find his way in the entertainment business.[6] He attended Santa Monica College
Santa Monica College
(then known as Santa Monica City College) in Santa Monica, California, but soon left. Geffen attributed his challenges in school to dyslexia.[7] Business career After a brief appearance as an extra in the 1961 film The Explosive Generation, Geffen began his entertainment career in the mailroom at the William Morris Agency
William Morris Agency
(WMA), where he quickly became a talent agent. In order to obtain the WMA job, he had to prove he was a college graduate. As he later reported in an interview, he claimed in his job application at WMA that he had graduated from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). Because he worked in the mailroom, Geffen was able to intercept a letter from UCLA
to WMA which stated that he had not graduated from UCLA. He modified the letter to show that he had attended and graduated, then submitted it to WMA. [8] His colleagues in the mailroom included Elliot Roberts, who later became Geffen's partner in a management company. Geffen left William Morris to become a personal manager and was immediately successful with Laura Nyro
Laura Nyro
and Crosby, Stills and Nash. When Geffen was engaged in the process of looking for a record deal for young Jackson Browne, Atlantic Records
Atlantic Records
founder Ahmet Ertegün
Ahmet Ertegün
suggested that Geffen start his own record label. Asylum Records Geffen founded Asylum Records in 1970 (with Elliot Roberts) after Geffen was unable to get Jackson Browne
Jackson Browne
a record deal anywhere else. The name Asylum was chosen because of the owners' reputations for signing artists who would struggle to find a record company that would contract with them. The label was distributed by Atlantic Records
Atlantic Records
at this time. Asylum signed artists such as the Eagles, Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Tom Waits, Linda Ronstadt, Warren Zevon, Judee Sill, and J.D. Souther. Asylum was later acquired by Atlantic's parent company, Warner Communications, and merged with Elektra Records
Elektra Records
in 1972 to become Elektra/Asylum Records. Geffen remained in charge until December 1975, when he went to work as vice chairman of Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.
film studios.[9] He then retired and in 1977 was informed (erroneously) that he had cancer.[10] During his retirement period he spent a short time (the fall of 1978 and spring of 1979) teaching a noncredit seminar on the music industry and arts management at Yale University, where he featured classroom guests Jackson Browne
Jackson Browne
and Paul Simon.[11] In 1980 a new medical diagnosis revealed the error in the original diagnosis[12] and Geffen was given a clean bill of health, whereupon he decided to return to working in the entertainment industry. Geffen Records In 1980, he founded Geffen Records and recruited Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.
Records exec Ed Rosenblatt as president. The Geffen label's meteoric rise to prominence within the year proved a bittersweet success. Geffen's first artist to sign on was Donna Summer, who was anxious to leave Casablanca/PolyGram Records.[citation needed] Geffen shortly after released her The Wanderer album, the lead single of which reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100, and the album certified gold. Casablanca countered by releasing more singles off her 1979 Bad Girls album such as the song Walk Away and a similarly named hits compilation to compete, but by then New Wave sound was dominating the airwaves.[citation needed] The November 1980 release of John Lennon's album Double Fantasy
Double Fantasy
seems an impressive feat for a new label, but at the time Lennon stated that 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 Geffen was the only label head to pay attention to her. In December 1980, Lennon was murdered and Double Fantasy became a massive seller. Over the years Geffen Records/DGC has become well known as a label, releasing works by the likes of Olivia Newton-John, Asia with Steve Howe and John Wetton, Elton John, Cher, Sonic Youth, Aerosmith, Whitesnake, XTC, Peter Gabriel, Lone Justice, Blink-182, Guns N' Roses, Nirvana, Lifehouse, Tyketto, Pat Metheny, Sloan, the Stone Roses and Neil Young. The label was distributed by Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.
Records since its inception but, in 1990, the label was sold to MCA Records. Geffen continued to run the label before leaving Geffen Records in 1995.[13] The Geffen label is today is part of the Interscope-Geffen-A&M division of MCA's successor, Universal Music Group, formed as the result of the 1999 merger between the MCA and PolyGram families of labels.[citation needed] Geffen Film/DreamWorks SKG Through the Geffen Film Company, Geffen produced dark-tinged comedies such as (the 1986 version of) Little Shop of Horrors, Risky Business and Beetlejuice. Geffen was the Broadway backer for the musicals Dreamgirls and Cats. In 1994, Geffen co-founded the DreamWorks SKG studio with Steven Spielberg
Steven Spielberg
and Jeffrey Katzenberg. In 2008, Geffen left DreamWorks.[14] Coastal Access Until 2017 Geffen owned a Malibu compound on Carbon Beach.[15] In 1983 Geffen was granted permits from the California Coastal Commission
California Coastal Commission
to build a Cape Cod-style compound over multiple beachfront lots in exchange for creating a public pathway to the beach. He failed to build that pathway and in 2002 filed a lawsuit to block public access altogether.[16][17] After a protracted three-year legal battle, Geffen reached a settlement with the Coastal Commission, granting the public a nine-foot-wide easement to the beach and reimbursing the state and non-profit groups $300,000 in legal fees.[18] The pathway was opened on May 30, 2005 to national and international media coverage.[19][20][21] The controversy has been called the "most famous Malibu battle" for beach access.[22] 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 Geffen had installed four fake garage doors.[23][24] Philanthropy Geffen has developed a reputation as a prominent philanthropist for his publicized support of medical research, AIDS organizations, the arts and theatre. In 1995 he donated $5 million towards UCLA's Westwood Playhouse. The theatre was renamed the Geffen Playhouse. According to Forbes
("The 400 Richest Americans of 2004") and other sources, Geffen has pledged to give whatever money he makes from now on to charity, although he has not specified which charities or the manner of his giving. In 2002, he announced a $200 million unrestricted endowment for the School of Medicine at UCLA. The School thereafter was named David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. Along with Kenneth Langone's gift to New York University School of Medicine, Geffen's donation is the largest donation ever made to a medical school in the United States.[25][26] On December 13, 2012, UCLA announced that 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.[27] The latest donation funds the full cost of attendance for up to 30 students per year, beginning with the Class of 2017. In 2015, 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. His gift, which amounted to about 20% of the hall's renovation costs, gave him naming rights in perpetuity over the building, now known as David Geffen Hall.[28] Politics He was an early financial supporter of President Bill Clinton. In 2001 he had a falling out with the former president over Clinton's decision not to pardon Leonard Peltier, on whose behalf he had lobbied the President.[29] Geffen was an early supporter of Barack Obama
Barack Obama
for president and raised $1.3 million for Obama in a star-studded Beverly Hills fundraiser. On February 21, 2007, in an interview with Maureen Dowd
Maureen Dowd
of The New York Times, Geffen described Hillary Clinton
Hillary Clinton
and Bill Clinton in unflattering terms: "Everybody in politics lies, but they do it with such ease, it's troubling." He said that Hillary Clinton
Hillary Clinton
was "incredibly polarizing" and described Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton
as "reckless" and cast doubt on those who say he has become a different person since leaving office.[29][30] Along with other celebrities including Steven Spielberg
Steven Spielberg
and Brad Pitt, Geffen donated money to try to prevent Proposition 8 from becoming law in California.[31][32][33] Awards and honors Geffen was named one of the 2010 recipients of Ahmet Ertegun
Ahmet Ertegun
Award from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.[34] 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
National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences
at the 53rd Grammy Awards
53rd Grammy Awards
in February 2011.[35] Personal life Geffen has an estimated net worth of $6 billion, making him one of the richest people in the entertainment industry.[1] He is gay. In May 2007, Out magazine ranked Geffen first in its list of the fifty "Most Powerful Gay Men and Women in America".[36] Joni Mitchell
Joni Mitchell
and Geffen were close friends and, in the early 1970s, made a trip to Paris with Robbie Robertson
Robbie Robertson
and Robertson's wife, Dominique. As a result of that trip, Mitchell wrote "Free Man in Paris"[37] about Geffen.[38] Geffen can be heard on Barbra Streisand's The Broadway Album, released in 1985. The track "Putting It Together" features Geffen, Sydney Pollack, and Ken Sylk portraying the voices of record company executives talking to Streisand.[39] Geffen is the subject of several books, most recently The Operator: David Geffen Builds, Buys, and Sells the New Hollywood (2001) by Tom King, who initially had Geffen's cooperation, but later did not. An earlier biography was The Rise and Rise of David Geffen (1997) by Stephen Singular. He is also 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. He was the subject of an American Masters
American Masters
television documentary entitled Inventing David Geffen. The documentary was directed by Susan Lacy and was first broadcast on 20 November 2012.[7] His older brother Mitchell (born Mischa) Geffen (1933–2006) was an attorney who attended UCLA
Law School[40] and later settled in Encino, California. Mitchell Geffen fathered two daughters, who are David's closest surviving relatives. Art collection Geffen is a keen collector of American artists' work, including Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko
Mark Rothko
and Willem de Kooning. According to the chief curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, Paul Schimmel: "There's no collection that has a better representation of post-war American art than David Geffen's."[29] In October 2006, Geffen sold two paintings by Jasper Johns
Jasper Johns
and a De Kooning from his collection for a combined sum of $143.5 million. On November 3, 2006, the New York Times
New York Times
reported that Geffen had sold Pollock's 1948 painting No. 5, 1948
No. 5, 1948
from his collection for $140 million (£73.35 million) to Mexican financier David Martinez. Martinez is the founder of London-based Fintech Advisory Ltd, a financial house that specializes in buying Third World debt. The sale made No. 5, 1948
No. 5, 1948
the most expensive painting ever sold (outstripping the $134 million paid in October 2006 for Gustav Klimt's portrait Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I, purchased by cosmetics heir Ronald Lauder). Wealth-X reported in June 2013 that Geffen owns the most valuable private art collection in the world, and estimated its worth at $1.1B at the time.[41] In February 2016, Bloomberg News reported that 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.[42] Yachts In 2007, Geffen bought a half-share in friend Larry Ellison's luxury yacht Rising Sun, then at 138 meters (453 ft) the sixth largest motor yacht in the world. After Ellison ordered a new and more compact 91 metres (299 ft) yacht, he sold his remaining half share in Rising Sun to Geffen in 2010.[43] In 2009, Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich
Roman Abramovich
agreed to a divorce settlement with his wife Irina that resulted in her taking ownership of the 115-meter (377 ft) yacht Pelorus. Approached on Geffen's behalf by broker Merle Wood, Geffen bought Pelorus in 2011 for $300 million.[44][45] See also

Geffen Playhouse


^ a b "David Geffen". Forbes. Retrieved 31 May 2014. ^ Tom King, The Operator: David Geffen Builds, Buys, and Sells the New Hollywood, p. 12, Broadway Books (New York 2001). ^ " David Geffen Biography (1943-)". Filmreference.com. Retrieved 2014-06-29.  ^ Internet Movie Database, bio, "David Geffen", at [1]. ^ Pfefferman, Naomi (July 23, 2012). "David Geffen: prickly and terse about his Judaism". The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles. Retrieved 2012-07-30.  ^ Weinraub, Bernard (May 2, 1993). "David Geffen, Still Hungry". Retrieved June 4, 2014.  ^ a b About: Inventing David Geffen PBS, 2012-11-07. ^ Trott, Dave (2015). One + One = Three (First ed.). London, England: Macmillan. p. 10. ISBN 978-1-4472-8703-2. Retrieved 13 March 2017.  ^ Tom King, The Operator: David Geffen Builds, Buys, and Sells the New Hollywood, pp. 261-262, Broadway Books (New York 2001). ^ Tom King, The Operator: David Geffen Builds, Buys, and Sells the New Hollywood, p. 282, Broadway Books (New York 2001). ^ Tom King, The Operator: David Geffen Builds, Buys, and Sells the New Hollywood, p. 294, Broadway Books (New York 2001). ^ Tom King, The Operator: David Geffen Builds, Buys, and Sells the New Hollywood, pp. 296-297, Broadway Books (New York 2001). ^ " David Geffen Biography The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
and Museum". Rockhall.com. Retrieved 2014-06-29.  ^ Michael Cieply, "David Geffen, Savior of Dream Works, Makes a Sudden Exit," Oct. 27, 2008, The New York Times. ^ David, Mark (2017-05-03). " David Geffen Sells Oceanfront Malibu Compound for Record Price". Variety. Retrieved 2018-03-06.  ^ WEISS, KENNETH R. (2002-07-12). "Not All Quiet on the Beachfront". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2018-03-06.  ^ ROUG, GINA PICCALO AND LOUISE (2002-07-09). "The Pathos and the Pain". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2018-03-06.  ^ Weiss, Kenneth R. (2005-04-16). "Geffen to Reimburse $300,000". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2018-03-06.  ^ Harris, Paul (2005-04-17). "Hollywood boss loses fight to keep a beach to himself". the Guardian. Retrieved 2018-03-06.  ^ Navarro, Mireya (2005-06-05). "In Malibu, the Water's Fine (So Don't Come In!)". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-03-06.  ^ "Beach access next to Geffen's home opened". Malibu Times. Retrieved 2018-03-06.  ^ "Beach Closed, Keep Out: Billionaire Tries to Block Surfers". NBC News. Retrieved 2018-03-06.  ^ Abcarian, Robin. "Long overdue: Malibu elitists who impede public access now face fines". latimes.com. Retrieved 2018-03-06.  ^ Groves, By Martha. "Malibu beach guide helps sort out parking, access, all in an app". latimes.com. Retrieved 2018-03-06.  ^ "N.Y.U. Medical Center Gets Another $100 Million Gift".  ^ " David Geffen Gift to School of Medicine / UCLA
Spotlight". Spotlight.ucla.edu. Retrieved March 23, 2011.  ^ Kingkade, Tyler (December 14, 2012). " David Geffen Donates $100 Million For Scholarships To UCLA
Medical School" – via Huff Post.  ^ Wise, Brian (March 4, 2015). "Avery Fisher Hall to Be Renamed David Geffen Hall". WQXR. Retrieved March 4, 2015.  ^ a b c "Faces of the week". BBC News. February 23, 2007. Retrieved May 1, 2010.  ^ "What Geffen Said About Hillary". Newsmax.com. February 22, 2007. Retrieved March 23, 2011.  ^ "Proposition 8 contributions". The San Francisco Chronicle. Archived from the original on December 7, 2008.  ^ "Proposition 8: Who gave in the gay marriage battle?(Dreamworks Skg)". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 3 July 2012.  ^ "Proposition 8: Who gave in the gay marriage battle? (Dreamworks Studios)". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 3 July 2012.  ^ "Congratulations to the 2010 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Inductees!". Archived from the original on December 23, 2009. Retrieved December 15, 2009.  ^ "53rd GRAMMY Awards Season Hits High Notes". Retrieved May 7, 2011.  ^ "The Most Powerful Gay Men and Women in America". Out Magazine. May 2007. Retrieved January 15, 2009.  ^ "News Archive - Your link to SouthCoast Massachusetts and beyond". SouthCoastToday.com. Archived from the original on October 1, 2004. Retrieved March 23, 2011.  ^ Tom King, The Operator: David Geffen Builds, Buys, and Sells the New Hollywood, p. 192, Broadway Books (New York 2001). ^ "Album of the Month for BarbraNews.com by Steven Housman". Barbranews.com. Retrieved March 23, 2011.  ^ See generally Tom King, The Operator: David Geffen Builds, Buys, and Sells the New Hollywood, p. 31, Broadway Books (New York 2001). ^ "Private Wealth: Geffen's Art Collection Tops In Value". June 29, 2013.  ^ "Billionaire drops $500M for 2 masterpieces," Feb. 19, 2016, Bloomberg News, as republished by Fox News, at [2]. ^ " David Geffen Takes Possession Of "Rising Sun", World's Sixth Largest Yacht". boatworktimes.com. October 25, 2010. Archived from the original on December 6, 2011. Retrieved October 2, 2011.  ^ David Pelly. "Iconic yachts: Pelorus". boatinternational.com. Retrieved 2012-12-25.  ^ Jared Paul Stern (July 14, 2011). "David Geffen's New $300 Million Yacht Gets Upstaged By A Russian Businessman's Boat In Mallorca". businessinsider.com. Archived from the original on January 7, 2012. Retrieved October 2, 2011. 

External links

David Geffen on IMDb David Geffen at the Internet Broadway Database
Internet Broadway Database
David Geffen at the Internet Off-Broadway Database Forbes.com: Forbes
World's Richest People Is David Geffen gearing up to buy the LA Times? David Geffen at AllMusic 'I Remember David Geffen', by Steve Holt

v t e

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Class of 2010


ABBA Genesis Jimmy Cliff The Hollies The Stooges

Non-performers ( Ahmet Ertegun
Ahmet Ertegun

David Geffen Otis Blackwell Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich Mort Shuman Jesse Stone Barry Mann
Barry Mann
and Cynthia Weil

v t e

People associated with the Beatles


Neil Aspinall Dave Dexter Jr. Geoff Emerick Mal Evans Glyn Johns Bert Kaempfert Freda Kelly Jeff Lynne Magic Alex Ken Mansfield George Martin Giles Martin Phil McDonald Ken Scott Norman Smith Phil Spector Alistair Taylor Chris Thomas Ken Townsend Peter Vince


Peter Bennett Sid Bernstein Al Brodax Peter Brown Lee Eastman Brian Epstein David Geffen Dick James Allen Klein Joseph Lockwood Larry Parnes Allan Williams


Eric Clapton The Dirty Mac Donovan Bob Dylan Johnny Gentle Nicky Hopkins Johnny Hutchinson Mick Jagger Brian Jones Jim Keltner David Mason Tommy Moore Chas Newby Jimmie Nicol Harry Nilsson Peter and Gordon Plastic Ono Band Billy Preston Ronnie Scott Ravi Shankar Tony Sheridan Rory Storm
Rory Storm
and the Hurricanes Andy White


Tony Barrow Alan Clayson Ray Coleman Ray Connolly Hunter Davies Peter Doggett Walter Everett Larry Kane Mark Lewisohn Ian MacDonald Philip Norman Alan W. Pollack Nicholas Schaffner Bruce Spizer Derek Taylor

Girlfriends / wives

Nancy Lee Andrews Jane Asher Barbara Bach Pattie Boyd Olivia Harrison Astrid Kirchherr Cynthia Lennon Linda McCartney Heather Mills Yoko Ono Francie Schwartz Maureen Starkey

Parents / guardians

Mona Best Alfred Lennon Julia Lennon Jim and Mary McCartney George Smith Mimi Smith


Tony Anthony Peter Blake George Dunning Horst Fascher The Fool Robert Freeman Bill Harry Jann Haworth Michael Lindsay-Hogg Alejandro Jodorowsky Bruno Koschmider Richard Lester Ruth McCartney Murray the K Ed Sullivan Saul Swimmer Ivan Vaughan Jürgen Vollmer Klaus Voormann Lord Woodbine Bob Wooler David Wynne Maharishi Mahesh Yogi Roby Yonge

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 36486386 LCCN: no92031355 ISNI: 0000 0000 8441 9909 GND: 120547481 MusicBrainz: a0b14708-8196-4fce-bfb4-62e27c9bc