David Lawrence Geffen was born on 21 February 1943, in Borough Park, Brooklyn, New York, USA, of Jewish ancestry. David is a business magnate, philanthropist, producer and film executive, responsible for the creation of various companies including Dreamworks SKG and Geffen Records. The various accomplishments and donations in his life prove the great success and high net worth he has attained.
How rich is David Geffen? As of early-2016, sources inform us of a net worth that is at $6.9 billion, mostly accumulated through the success of his previous and current business endeavors. He reportedly owns the most valuable private art collection in the world estimated at $1.1 billion. He also owns two yachts, one of which, the “Rising Sun”, is considered the sixth largest motor yacht in the world.
David Geffen Net Worth $6.9 Billion
Geffen did not have a very good educational background, as he later mentions that he suffers from dyslexia. He graduated from Brooklyn’s New Utrecht High School, and then attended different colleges like University of Texas at Austin, Brooklyn College and then later Santa Monica College. After attending schools only to eventually drop out, he decided to work his own way into the entertainment business. David’s first job had him working at the mail-room at the William Morris Agency (WMA), and then later he was promoted to become a talent agent. In order to get the job, he had to intercept a letter from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) and modify it to make it seem that he had graduated college there. He found success as a talent agent, but later left the company to become a personal manager with Laura Nyro and Crosby, Stills and Nash. While looking for a record deal for the young Jackson Browne, he was given the idea to start his own record label.
David founded Asylum records in 1970, and the company soon recruited big names like The Eagles, Bob Dylan, and Joni Mitchell. He remained with the company until 1975, when he was called by Warner Bros. studios to become vice chairman. Two years later, he was diagnosed with cancer and had to retire from work. However, he conducted a few seminars at Yale University during his retirement and in 1980, it was revealed that he had been misdiagnosed. Now declared cancer free, he went back to the entertainment industry. In the same year, he founded Geffen Records and signed Donna Summer, which resulted in a bit of a feud between the company and Casablanca/PolyGram Records. The popularity of David and the company rose even higher when they acquired John Lennon, and his death after the release of the album “Double Fantasy” gave them high sales. The company soon signed other talents like Cher, Elton John, Aerosmith, Blink 182, Guns ‘N’ Roses, Lifehouse, and many more. Geffen continued to run the label for a few years after the company was sold to MCA Records in 1990.
Around this period, and the years before, David was already familiar with film production thanks to the Geffen Film Company. In 1994, along with Steven Spielberg and Jeffrey Katzenberg, Geffen founded Dreamworks SKT. He continued working for the company until around 2008.
As for his personal life, David is considered as one of the richest people in the entertainment industry. He is also ranked first in the list of “Most Powerful Gay Men and Women in America”. He’s been the subject of songs and books and received acclaim and praise from his co-workers and business associates.
UCLA announced in December 2012 that this 'visionary donor'/ philanthropist had also established a $100-million scholarship fund for students of the Geffen School of Medicine.
Of Polish-Jewish and Ukrainian-Jewish descent.
In 2006, he donated $1.6 million to the David Geffen Foundation.
A supporter of Leonard Peltier, whom he believes was wrongly convicted of the 1975 murders of two FBI agents, he said he became disillusioned by Bill Clinton's decision to pardon financier Marc Rich, instead of Peltier. This caused a rift between him and the Clintons, and led to his decision to endorse Barack Obama for president, instead of Hillary Clinton.
Ranked #12 on Premiere's 2006 "Power 50" list along with DreamWorks co-founder Jeffrey Katzenberg. They had ranked #12 in 2005 as well.
In 2005 he lost a California civil suit, forcing him to grant right-of-way to public sunbathers on the beach of his private home in Carbon Beach, California.
In 1980 he signed John Lennon to what would prove to be the latter's last recording contract.
Announced a $200-million donation to UCLA medical school in May 2002, the largest single donation to a US medical school in history. The school will be named The David Geffen School of Medicine. The campus already includes The Geffen Playhouse. which was named after him when he donated $6 million to the university. He has also bestowed gifts of $2.5 million to Los Angeles' AIDS Project, as well as another $2.5 million to New York city's Gay Men's Health Crisis, and $1.4 million to AIDS Action in Washington, DC.
Sits on USC School of Cinema-Television's Board of Councilors