Inside David Geffen Personal Life & How He Built His Billion-Dollar Empire

Even though he rarely appears on the covers, David Geffen is the man responsible for bringing some of our favorite music bands of the last decade. Over the years, the Business Moghul has signed with hotshot names in the music industry. The Eagles, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, and Tom Waits, these are just a few names that David has worked within his illustrious career. The American business magnate is a producer, film studio executive, and philanthropist. The man owns not one but three different music studios and is also a billionaire. 

Early Life:

David Geffen was born on the 21st of February 1943 in New York City, New York. David comes from humble backgrounds, his father Abraham Geffen, was a scholar, and his mother Batya, a corset maker. Both his parents were Jewish immigrants making David and his brother Mitchell second-generation Americans. After passing his matriculation from the New Utrecht High School in 1960, David enrolled at the University of Texas at Austin. After a year at Austin, David moved to Brooklyn College but dropped out once more. After moving to LA, David attended the Santa Monica College but couldn’t stay there either.

The American Billionaire David Geffen
The American Billionaire David Geffen


Professional Career:

David began his career in the mail-room of the William Morris Agency. To land the job, David lied on his resume stating he graduated from UCLA. When letters eventually came from UCLA denying his claims, David modified the letters and started working as a talent agent. David later left WMA and started working as a personal manager. He quickly found work with Laura Nyro and Crosby, and Stills and Nash.

 Inspired by his success, David opened Asylum Records in 1971 with Elliot Roberts. Their first signing was a young Jackson Browne. Distributed by Atlantic Records, Asylum records quickly became a safe haven for artists unable to find deals. In the years that followed David signed deals with the Eagles, Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Tom Waits, Linda Ronstadt, Warren Zevon, Judee Sill, and J.D. Souther. David left Asylum records in the late 1970’s and started working as vice chairman of Warner Bros. film studios. After retiring in 1977, David took a non-credit class at Yale that lasted until 1979.

Businessman David Geffen with American singer katy perry
Businessman David Geffen with American singer katy perry

After getting a second diagnosis for his presumed cancer, David was declared healthy. In 1980, he established Geffen Records and signed Donna Summer. In the following years, David also worked with John Lennon and Yoko Ono to release Lenon’s third album  Double Fantasy. In the years that followed, David worked with several artists including Olivia Newton-John, Asia, Siouxsie and the Banshees, 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. David sold the label to MCA records in 1990. 

In 1982, David also founded the Geffen Film company which worked in movies like Little Shop of Horrors (1986), Risky Business (1983) and Beetlejuice (1988). David left the company in 2008. 

Personal Relationship & Net Worth:

David is openly gay. The billionaire came out way back in 1992, at a time when gay marriage was yet to be legalized by law. In 2006, David began dating Jeremy Lingvall. Jeremy who was a college student was 41 years younger than David. The relationship ran out of stem in 2012 and in the same year David was seen kissing ex-college football player Jamie Kuntz. The pair denied claims of relationship but Jamie continued to stalk David which led him to file a restraining order against Jamie. Jamie was arrested in 2014 for violating the order. 

Businessman David Geffen and his luxurious yacht
Businessman David Geffen and his luxurious yacht

David Geffen is a rich man. He owns a house in Beverly Hills and has several yachts to his name. As of 2020, he has a net worth of 8 billion dollars. 

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