David Geffen was born on February 21, 1943 in Brooklyn, New York. Growing up in Brooklyn, Geffen spent much of his time in the local spots such as Chookie’s Luncheonette. However, Geffen could not wait to get out of Brooklyn, hoping to escape to Hollywood to join the show business.
Geffen, through his deal making skills, transitioned from an entry level position in a mailroom to a tycoon. In 1972, with his partner Elliot Roberts, Geffen founded Asylum Records. The pair later sold the company to Warner Communications, each earning two million in cash and five million in Warner’s stock. In 1980, Geffen founded his second successful record company, Geffen Records, which he sold a decade later for 550 million dollars. Following this transaction, Geffen transitioned into the film industry, co-founding DreamWorks SKG in 1994 with Steven Spielberg and Jeffrey Katzenberg. With years of success, David Geffen definitely is a powerhouse and leader within the film and music industry.
David Geffen has donated hundreds of millions of dollars to many organizations in Los Angeles that bear his name such as the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and Geffen Playhouse (formerly Westwood Playhouse). Geffen also donates to medical research efforts and multiple AIDS organizations. Most recently he made a sizable donation to the Geffen Academy at UCLA which is an innovative college preparatory school to which Geffen donated 100 million dollars. Geffen’s donation will help with renovations and curriculum development for these children. In combination with other donations to the university, Geffen is officially the largest individual donor to UC system with his philanthropic efforts exceeding 400 million dollars.
Now, at age 73, Geffen has begun to look back to the city that gave him his start, Brooklyn, NY. With new found appreciation for his hometown, Geffen recently donated 100 million dollars to Avery Fisher Hall at the Lincoln center in New York. The hall, originally built in 1962, will be named Geffen Hall following the renovations. Geffen hopes that his generous donations will help leave his mark on the city that fostered his upbringing.
Prominent music mogul, philanthropist and co-founder of DreamWorks Studio, David Geffen, sells the Malibu Beach Inn for almost 100% profit ten years after purchasing it. Mr. Geffen bought the Inn in 2005 for $29 million and put a further $10 million into renovating the property. He updated all of the rooms and changed the pink exterior to be more in line with the style of Mediterranean hotels.
The 47-room property sold for a whopping $80 million to the Mani Brothers Real Estate Group, a West Hollywood based real estate investing duo. This valuation is the highest of its kind for any Californian hotel. It is in keeping with an increasing trend of luxury hotels selling for record breaking prices.
At $1.7 million per room, this sale marks the highest valuation per room of any hotel outside of New York, Florida or Hawaii, according to STR Analytics. In Southern California the Montage Laguna Beach resort sold for $1.4 million per room; while the Baccart Hotel New York sold for over $2 million a room. While the Waldorf Astoria blew all hotel pricing records out of the water after it was sold for a staggering $1.95 billion.
Mr. Geffen founded DreamWorks Studio with Steven Spielberg and Jeffery Katzenberg in October 1994. His own self-titled production company, Geffen Film Compnay, had previously produced works such as “Risky Business” and “Little Shop of Horrors”. He left DreamWorks in 1998 and has become a prominent figure in both Hollywood and across the US since, with his recent philanthropic effects causing a big stir. Most notably, Geffen has donated $100 million to the Lincoln Center in New York City and a total of $300 million to UCLA School of Medicine, now called the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.
David Geffen has just donated $100 million to the Lincoln Center in New York City, to renovate Avery Fisher Hall. He has said that it was an easy decision for him because he has the money. The space will be renamed the David Geffen Hall in light of this contribution. The 72 year old has an estimated worth of $6.9 billion and has made philanthropy a recurring aspect of his life.
In 1983, Mr. Geffen donated $5 million to the Temporary Contemporary, now called the Geffen Contemporary, which is an extension of the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), in Los Angeles. This space was initially an interim space while construction was being completed on the main building but proved so popular that it was maintained after construction was completed. Now it houses large sculptures and multi-media installations. Most of these creations were designed specifically for the Geffen Contemporary.
In 1995, he gave another $5 million to the Westwood Playhouse theatre in Los Angeles for naming rights. The Geffen Playhouse is now one of the most well regarded theatres in LA and has won more than 40 awards.
He has continually supported HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment throughout his life and established the David Geffen Center in conjunction with the Gay Men’s Health Crisis in New York. This center provides free, rapid testing for HIV, syphilis and Hepatitis C. His contributions and work with the AIDS project in Los Angeles has seen similar services available there, as well as housing support for people living with HIV/AIDS in Southern California.
More recently, in 2002, Geffen donated $200 million to the UCLA School of Medicine. This sizable donation was in the top two largest ever given to a medical school in the US, and garnered him naming rights so it is now called the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. Since then, he has given a further $100 million to cover all the costs associated with attending the school for roughly 30 students each year, starting in the Class of 2017. He is now the largest individual benefactor in the UC system with this combined sum of $300 million.
It seems the amount and frequency of Mr. Geffen’s donations is increasing very rapidly and we are all excited to see which organizations will the next beneficiaries of his growing generosity.
The current Mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel has raised a whopping $11 million to date to fund his re-election campaign, with recent donations from world renowned director Steven Spielberg and one of the founders of DreamWorks Studios David Geffen.
Until recently, state laws in Illinois had limited donations to the campaign, from individuals, corporations and political action committees, to a cap of $5,300, $10,500 and $52,600 respectively. These limitations apply to local races until the candidate personally donates in excess of $100,000 to his / her campaign within a year of the election date, which Emanuel has recently reached.
Once this personal donation target had been reached by Rahm Emanuel last fall, a further $2 million of donations has come in, from 57 different donors, that would not have been contribute that quantity of cash had the state limits still applied.
Some of the most notable contributions to the ‘Chicago for Rahm Emanuel’ re-election campaign came from Cheryl Saban, who gave $100,000, Steven Spielberg who contributed $25,000 and a $50,000 donation from David Geffen. Haim Saban, husband to Cheryl, had previously tried to donate $400,000 to the campaign, but Emanuel refunded three quarters of this due to a self-established contribution limit.
The fat checks from the Hollywood who’s who are thanks to the Mayor’s brother, Ari, who is currently co-CEO of William Morris Endeavor Entertainment, a top talent agency in LA.
The Mayor’s challengers have opted for the same tactic with businessman Willie Wilson putting $1 million into his own campaign on Monday, 5th of January 2015.
The Chicago Mayoral election is due to take place on the 24th of February 2015.