David Geffen

Record Executive + Film Producer + Theatrical Producer + Philanthropist
Born Feb 21, 1943

David Geffen is an American record executive, film producer, theatrical producer, and philanthropist. Geffen is noted for creating Asylum Records in 1970, Geffen Records in 1980, and DGC Records in 1990. Geffen was also one of the three founders of DreamWorks SKG in 1994.… Read More

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Browse recent news and stories about David Geffen.


Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of David Geffen.


1943 Birth Born on February 21, 1943.


1960 17 Years Old Geffen graduated from Brooklyn's New Utrecht High School in 1960 with a 66 percent average. … Read More
1961 18 Years Old 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 (WMA), where he quickly became a talent agent. … Read More


1970 27 Years Old Geffen founded Asylum Records in 1970 (with Elliot Roberts) after Geffen was unable to get Jackson Browne a record deal anywhere else. … Read More


1975 32 Years Old Geffen remained in charge until December 1975, when he went to work as vice chairman of Warner Bros. film studios.
1977 34 Years Old He then retired and in 1977 was informed (erroneously) that he had cancer. … Read More
In 1980 a new medical diagnosis revealed the error in the original diagnosis and Geffen was given a clean bill of health, whereupon he decided to return to working in the entertainment industry.


1994 51 Years Old …  In 1994, Geffen co-founded the DreamWorks SKG studio with Steven Spielberg and Jeffrey Katzenberg. … Read More
1995 52 Years Old 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. … Read More
2001 58 Years Old 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. … Read More


2006 63 Years Old 1 More Event
In October 2006, Geffen sold two paintings by Jasper Johns and a De Kooning from his collection for a combined sum of $143.5 million.
2007 - 2009 2 More Events
2011 68 Years Old 1 More Event
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. … Read More
2012 69 Years Old 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. … Read More
2013 70 Years Old 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.
2015 72 Years Old In 2015, Geffen pledged $100 million toward renovation of what is currently Avery Fisher Hall, part of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York. … Read More
2016 73 Years Old 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.
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