David Geffen
American record executive, film producer, theatrical producer, and philanthropist
David Geffen
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.
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No Shortcuts For Yuja Wang, The World's Greatest Living Pianist
Huffington Post - 17 days
Yuja Wang was still an undergraduate at Curtis when she got the call: piano soloist Murray Perahia was under the weather. Could she jump on a plane to southern California and perform the next day with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields? She could, and she did. The pianist, barely 22, played with authority and sensitivity, wowing the musically literate in the Orange County audience (yes, there are some even in Costa Mesa). She also astonished the ensemble's legendary conductor, Sir Neville Marriner. The audience was treated to the unique tableau of this towering figure on the music scene, 82 and approaching retirement, gazing with fascination at a young woman in the first throes of her career playing breathtaking, breakneck encores. Wang captivated another top conductor, Michael Tilson Thomas, at another impromptu performance, this time at Carnegie Hall, filling in for yet another ailing soloist. Her playing moved Thomas, a mentor figure in Wang's career, literal ...
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Huffington Post article
Oil up 2 percent on stock market, but U.S. supply caps gains
Yahoo News - about 1 month
By David Gaffen NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oil prices jumped 2 percent on Thursday, boosted by the ongoing rally in the U.S. stock market, although gains in crude futures were capped by heavy inventories in spite of efforts by producers to cut output. U.S. light crude futures were up $1.03 to $53.78 a barrel, a gain of 2 percent, while Brent crude settled up $1.16, or 2.1 percent, to $56.24. U.S. crude hit a peak of $54.06, highest in more than three weeks, after Wall Street's open as stocks added to the previous session's rally that had lifted the Dow Jones Industrial Average to close above 20,000 for the first time.
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Yahoo News article
Being incarcerated as a juvenile tied to poor health years later
Yahoo News - about 1 month
By Andrew M. Seaman (Reuters Health) - People incarcerated as juveniles may have worse physical and mental health as adults than youths who did not spend time in detention centers or correctional facilities, according to a new study. "A lot of people think there are potentially harmful effects of being in the justice system, but the long-term effects really haven’t been quantified," said lead author Dr. Elizabeth Barnert, of the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles. The magnitude of the increased health risks was tied to the time people spent incarcerated, researchers found.
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Yahoo News article
A Grammy Nomination And Letters To Stephen Sondheim And Vladimir Putin: A Conversation With Judy Collins
Huffington Post - about 2 months
A Conversation with Judy Collins Mike Ragogna: Judy, you must be thrilled about the Grammy nomination for your album with Ari Hest, Silver Skies Blue. Judy Collins: Yes, I'm delighted! Ari and I are beside ourselves! MR: Before we get into your new project, A Love Letter To Sondheim, let's have a quick chat about Silver Skies Blue. Your studio collaborations with Ari Hest began on your album Strangers Again in 2015, right? JC: Yes. I put him on my Irish show for PBS in 2013 and we sang a song of his together. Then we recorded “Strangers Again” in 2015, I got a bunch of other guys to sing duets with me, but “Strangers Again” was really what intrigued me. I wasn't particularly interested in doing another album but then we started it going. We decided to write together and Silver Skies Blue is the result, and that's what we got our Grammy nomination for. MR: Were you surprised by the nomination? JC: Yeah, I was stunned! I thought they had forgotten all about me. MR: [laughs] A lo ...
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Huffington Post article
Your Giving Brain: Are Humans 'Hardwired' for Generosity?
Yahoo News - 2 months
In one study, researchers scanned participants' brains to identify connections between generous behavior and brain activity. In the other, scientists dampened activity in areas of the brain associated with impulse control, to see if that would alter a person's empathetic actions. In addition, the findings suggest a path toward treating people with conditions that lower their ability to understand others: Someday, people whose social cognition is impaired could be helped by treatments that regulate the neural pathways that enhance or restrict their empathetic feelings, said Dr. Marco Iacoboni, a co-author of both studies and a professor of psychiatry at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California at Los Angeles.
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Yahoo News article
The Eagles' '<em>Hotel California</em>' at 40, '<em>Buffalo Springfield</em>' at 50
Huffington Post - 3 months
Quick, what is the state anthem of California? If you answer 'California, Here I Come,' you are, like me, wrong. If your answer is 'I Love You, California,' you are an unusually well-informed career state employee. And if, like billions of people around the world, you answer 'Hotel California,' well, you are technically wrong but, oh so right. This month marks the 40th anniversary of the release of 'Hotel California,' both the song and the album it graces which is one of the most telling, and best-selling, albums of all time. The power and mystery of 'Hotel California' has tantalized and inspired, provoked and mystified ever since its exotic and evocative guitar figures and enigmatic lyrics were first heard 40 years ago. "It makes me want to go there and it makes me want to get away," said one tourist standing near a California street corner as a singer with a guitar gave the song a go. "Look at me," she said. "Here I am." December also marks the 50th anniversary of 'Buffal ...
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Huffington Post article
What's Going On When Your Limbs Fall Asleep
Huffington Post - 3 months
For SELF, by Amy Marturana.  Pins and needles! Pins and needles! Pins and needles! The sensation of a foot, leg, or arm “falling asleep” is a familiar one. We’ve all ended up at some point with a slightly numb limb that needs to be shaken awake—maybe you’re a habitual leg-crosser, or always end up sleeping on top of your arm. While the numbness or tingly feeling that ensues can sometimes be alarming (especially when it takes a while to go away), most of the time, it’s really nothing to worry about. When a body part becomes temporarily numb, it’s usually because you’ve been putting too much pressure on a nerve. Nerves work like an electrical wire, sending signals from the brain out to parts of your body, and back, Glenna Tolbert, M.D., assistant clinical professor at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and founder and medical director of neurological and orthopedic rehab center Tolbert Rehab, tells SELF. When there’s pressure on a nerve for an extended period of time, t ...
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Huffington Post article
David Geffen to List Fifth Avenue Co-Op for $27.5 Million
Wall Street Journal - 6 months
The media mogul is listing his New York City apartment in the Parc V cooperative overlooking Central Park.
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Wall Street Journal article
So You Have $500 Million? Here’s a Shopping List for the Philharmonic’s Hall.
NYTimes - 6 months
David Geffen Hall, home of the New York Philharmonic, will be renovated in 2019. Here are some modest ideas for improvements.
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NYTimes article
David Geffen Sells East Hampton Compound for $67.3 Million
Wall Street Journal - 8 months
A chunk of the entertainment mogul’s Georgica Pond estate, including his house and swimming pool, will be going back on the market for $55 million.
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Wall Street Journal article
Lincoln Center Report: We Entertain, Educate, Accept Tax Dollars
NYTimes - 9 months
Lincoln Center released a report on how it serves residents and visitors as it prepares to seek city money for renovating David Geffen Hall.
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NYTimes article
MoMA Announces $100 Million Gift From David Geffen
Wall Street Journal - 10 months
Entertainment mogul David Geffen donated $100 million to the Museum of Modern Art to renovate and expand its Midtown campus.
Article Link:
Wall Street Journal article
MoMA Announces $100 Million Gift From David Geffen
Wall Street Journal - 10 months
Entertainment mogul David Geffen donated $100 million to the Museum of Modern Art to renovate and expand its Midtown campus.
Article Link:
Wall Street Journal article
David Geffen gives $100 million to Museum of Modern Art
Yahoo News - 10 months
NEW YORK (AP) — New York's Museum of Modern Art says it has received a $100 million gift from entertainment executive and philanthropist David Geffen.
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Yahoo News article
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of David Geffen
  • 2016
    Age 73
    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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  • 2015
    Age 72
    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.
    More Details Hide Details His gift, which will cover about 20% of the hall's renovation, will give him naming rights in perpetuity over the building, which will be known as David Geffen Hall.
  • 2013
    Age 70
    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.
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  • 2012
    Age 69
    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.
    More Details Hide Details The latest donation funds the full cost of attendance for up to 30 students per year, beginning with the Class of 2017.
  • 2011
    Age 68
    Approached on Geffen's behalf by broker Merle Wood, Geffen bought Pelorus in 2011 for $300 million.
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    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.
    More Details Hide Details Geffen has a Malibu beach house with direct access to the beach which he has fought for years to block from public access. Geffen has gone as far as constructing a false garage, complete with a false curb cut-out to give the impression that legal parking spots next to his beach house are a no parking zone. Geffen has an estimated net worth of $6 billion, making him one of the richest people in the entertainment industry. 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". Joni Mitchell and Geffen were close friends and, in the early 1970s, made a trip to Paris with Robbie Robertson and Robertson's wife, Dominique. As a result of that trip, Mitchell wrote "Free Man in Paris" about Geffen.
  • 2009
    Age 66
    In 2009, Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich agreed to a divorce settlement with his wife Irina that resulted in her taking ownership of the yacht Pelorus.
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  • 2007
    Age 64
    In 2007, Geffen bought a half-share in friend Larry Ellison's luxury yacht Rising Sun, then at the sixth largest motor yacht in the world.
    More Details Hide Details After Ellison ordered a new and more compact yacht, he sold his remaining half share in Rising Sun to Geffen in 2010.
  • 2006
    Age 63
    On November 3, 2006, the New York Times reported that Geffen had sold Pollock's 1948 painting No. 5, 1948 from his collection for $140 million (£73.35 million) to Mexican financier David Martinez.
    More Details Hide Details 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 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).
    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.
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  • 2001
    Age 58
    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.
    More Details Hide Details Geffen was an early supporter of 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 of the New York Times, Geffen described 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 was "incredibly polarizing" and described Bill Clinton as "reckless" and cast doubt on those who say he has become a different person since leaving office. Along with other celebrities including Steven Spielberg and Brad Pitt, Geffen donated money to try to prevent Proposition 8 from becoming law in California. Geffen was named one of the 2010 recipients of Ahmet Ertegun Award from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
  • 1995
    Age 52
    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.
    More Details Hide Details 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.
  • 1994
    Age 51
    In 1994, Geffen co-founded the DreamWorks SKG studio with Steven Spielberg and Jeffrey Katzenberg.
    More Details Hide Details In 2008, Geffen left DreamWorks.
  • 1980
    Age 37
    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 Geffen was the only one with enough confidence in him to agree to a deal without hearing the record first.
    More Details Hide Details 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 shot dead 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. 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. 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.
    In 1980, he founded Geffen Records and recruited Warner Bros.
    More Details Hide Details 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. 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 the then New Wave sound was now dominating the airwaves.
    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.
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  • 1977
    Age 34
    He then retired and in 1977 was informed (erroneously) that he had cancer.
    More Details Hide Details 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 and Paul Simon.
  • 1975
    Age 32
    Geffen remained in charge until December 1975, when he went to work as vice chairman of Warner Bros. film studios.
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  • 1970
    Age 27
    Geffen founded Asylum Records in 1970 (with Elliot Roberts) after Geffen was unable to get Jackson Browne a record deal anywhere else.
    More Details Hide Details 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 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 in 1972 to become Elektra/Asylum Records.
  • 1961
    Age 18
    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.
    More Details Hide Details 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. 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 and Crosby, Stills and Nash. When Geffen was engaged in the process of looking for a record deal for young Jackson Browne, Atlantic Records founder Ahmet Ertegün suggested that Geffen start his own record label.
  • 1960
    Age 17
    Geffen graduated from Brooklyn's New Utrecht High School in 1960 with a 66 percent average.
    More Details Hide Details He attended the University of Texas at Austin for a semester, and then Brooklyn College, before again dropping out. He then moved to Los Angeles, California to find his way in the entertainment business. He attended 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.
  • 1943
    Age 0
    Born on February 21, 1943.
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