David Geffen Net Worth

Net Worth:$8 Billion
Date of Birth: February 21, 1943 (81 years old)
Profession:Businessperson, Theatrical producer, Film Producer, Music executive, Record producer, Television producer
Nationality:United States of America

What is David Geffen’s net worth?

David Geffen is a Brooklyn-born record executive, film and theater producer, and philanthropist who has a net worth of $8 billion.

David Geffen founded Geffen Records, where he had great success with musicians including Donna Summer, Nirvana, Blink-182, Elton John, Kylie Minogue, Enya, Cher, Neil Young, Peter Gabriel, and Guns N’ Roses, to mention a few.

The 1980 album Double Fantasy by John Lennon was published by Geffen Records, who is possibly best known for it. In addition, Dreamworks SKG, a movie production company, was founded by Geffen and two other individuals. Spielberg, Katzenberg, and Geffen make up the “SKG” abbreviation.

At the box office alone, Dreamworks has so far brought in more than $16 billion from around the world. Home video sales and other products are excluded from that.


David Lawrence Geffen was born on February 21, 1943, in Brooklyn, New York. Before relocating to California in the early 1960s to pursue an acting career, he left two east coast universities after his sophomore year.

His acting career actually began at the William Morris Agency’s mail department, where he worked as an extra in the 1961 movie The Explosive Generation (WMA). His position as a talent scout at WMA was swiftly elevated.


He established Geffen Records in 1980 after receiving a clean bill of health. Thanks to the albums released by artists including Cher, Debbie Harry, Don Henley, Berlin, Kylie Minogue, Enya, Asia, Wang Chung, Sammy Hagar, Elton John, Irene Cara, and Joni Mitchell, the label enjoyed success throughout the 1980s.

In 1990, he traded 10 million shares of MCA stock for the sale of Geffen Records to MCA Music Entertainment. Geffen’s interest in MCA was worth $700 million when it was purchased in 1991 for $6 billion by the Japanese corporation Matsushita Electric. After conversion to today’s money, that equals almost $1.3 billion.

With the help of real estate, fine art, and other assets, Geffen became the richest person in the entertainment sector and a billionaire overnight as a result of this windfall. Additionally, he was given a substantial, four-year work deal. He offered his longtime secretary 1% of the sale price when he sold the business to MCA.

She ultimately made more than $5 million from the different deals (a little less than $10 million after accounting for inflation). Following the sale, Geffen Records would continue to enjoy great success with musicians like Mary J. Blige, The Roots, Blink-182, The Game, and Common.


He left WMA in 1970 with the goal of managing musicians he had previously discovered, including Jackson Browne. Geffen took the next best action after failing to sign Browne to a record deal. His own record label was formed by him. As his co-founder, he chose Elliot Roberts, a friend from the WMA mail room.

He gave it the name Asylum Records. Because of their reputation for signing musicians that were turned down by other record labels, the name Asylum was adopted. Asylum achieved almost immediate success as a result of acquisitions like Laura Nyro, Crosby Stills, Nash, and of course Jackson Browne.

Later, the company signed musicians like the Eagles, Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Tom Waits, Linda Ronstadt, Warren Zevon, Judee Sill, and JD Souther. When Warner Communications, the parent company of Atlantic Records, bought Asylum in 1972, it combined it with Elektra Records to establish Elektra/Asylum Records.

Prior to joining Warner Brothers as vice chairman in December 1975, Geffen held the position of leadership. After being misdiagnosed with cancer and taking early retirement, he left Warner Brothers not long after joining the organization.

Career As A Producer

David has been making pictures through The Geffen Film Company since the early 1980s, despite the fact that he may be most recognized for being a co-founder of Dreamworks. In addition to 1983’s Risky Business and 1988’s Beetlejuice, he also produced Little Shop of Horrors in 1986.

Along with Steven Spielberg and Jeffrey Katzenberg, he co-founded Dreamworks SKG in 1994. They would go on to achieve great success as a result of films like Shrek, Shrek 2, Kung Fu Panda, Antz, Shark Tale, and a great deal more.

More than $15 billion has been made by Dreamworks at the international box office, in addition to additional billions from home video and merchandising sales.

They experienced a rough patch as well, losing more than $125 million due to the failure of 2003’s Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas, which brought the studio perilously near to bankruptcy. Dreamworks’ live-action studio was purchased by Viacom in 2005 for $1.6 billion (including the assumption of $400 million in debt).  In 2008, Geffen resigned from Dreamworks.

Other Ventures

Since he first began to experience prosperity, David has been a passionate art collector, and today he is the owner of one of the most expensive private collections in the entire world. $2–3 billion–or a sizable portion–of his net worth–is made up of his art collection.

For a total of $277 million in 2006, he sold two works—a de Kooning and a Jackson Pollack—together. He sold a 1948 Jackson Pollack and a 1955 de Kooning oil painting for a combined $300 million and $200 million in 2016. Ken Griffin, the wealthy owner of hedge funds, purchased both.

David has over the years purchased a number of very expensive ships. He sold the UAE Sheikh $240 million for the boat Pelorus in 2011. He and Oracle CEO Larry Ellison joined together to co-own Rising Sun, a $200 million bespoke yacht, in 2007. It is the twelfth-largest yacht in existence.  In 2010, Ellison sold Geffen his portion. For his portion of the yacht, Geffen has invested a total of $590 million.

Charity Works

In terms of philanthropy, David Geffen is incredibly giving. He distributes today all new income to charity and intends to give away the majority of his fortune to charity before he passes away. His hundreds of millions of dollars in gifts to UCLA make him the largest individual donor to the UC system.

He has endorsed politicians like Bill Clinton and Barack Obama and is a prominent and active member of the political scene. He also made a point of publicly expressing his support and making a financial contribution in an effort to stop California from passing Prop 8.

Geffen is openly gay, and in its list of the fifty “most powerful gay men and women in America,” published in May 2007, Out Magazine placed Geffen at the top.

Following a scandal involving Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, David Geffen announced in April 2014 that he would be interested in purchasing the franchise from the disgraced businessman. Geffen was joined by Oprah Winfrey and Larry Ellison in this declaration. In the end, that deal was not completed.

Real Estate

Around the world, David Geffen has property valued at $300 million. He invested $47.5 million in a 10-acre Beverly Hills estate in 1990, and it is now probably worth between $100 and $150 million on its own.

He has two flats in the same building in New York City. One is 12,000 square feet in size and has a view of Central Park; the other is 5,000 square feet. The larger apartment cost $54 million in 2012, whereas the smaller one did it for $14.2 million in 2010.

He purchased a house on Malibu’s prestigious Carbon Beach in 2013. He sold the home in 2017 for an absurd $87 million. He still owns a sizable Carbon Beach property that he paid $9.8 million in 2008. He paid $70 million on an East Hampton, New York, house in 2014.

David purchased a one-acre empty site in Beverly Hills, California, for $30 million in July 2019. He sold the lot to a Santa Barbara-based investor for $34 million an additional year and a half later. For around 15 months of ownership, a cool $4 million was earned, or about $266k in profit each month.

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