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David Geffen

From Academic Kids

David Geffen (born February 21, 1943 in New York City, New York) is an American record executive, film and theatrical producer, and philanthropist.

He began his entertainment career in the mailroom at the William Morris Agency, quickly becoming an agent and promoting the careers of Joni Mitchell, Jackson Browne, Linda Ronstadt and the Eagles, among others. The lyrics of Joni Mitchell's "Free Man in Paris" (1975) were drawn from things Geffen, a close friend in the early 1970s, told her.

He moved on to Warner Brothers, then his own Geffen Records, which included among its artists Cher, Aerosmith and Guns N' Roses. Famed group Nirvana had some of their works on his label as well.

He founded the Geffen Film Company, producing dark-tinged comedies such as (the 1986 version of) Little Shop of Horrors and Beetlejuice, and was the Broadway backer for Dreamgirls and Cats. In 1994, Geffen co-founded the DreamWorks SKG studio with Steven Spielberg and Jeffrey Katzenberg.

Geffen, who is openly gay, was the subject of a 1990s urban legend that he had married actor Keanu Reeves. Although Geffen and Reeves are friends, the two have never dated.

Geffen is a prominent philanthropist, renowned for his support to medical research, AIDS organizations, the arts and theatre.

According to Forbes Magazine ("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 specific charities or the manner of his giving).


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