BIG SPENDER

David Geffen Is On A Quest To Give It All Away

david_geffen-300x3001Now that his boy toy is finally off his back, music mogul David Geffen is free to focus on the things he cares about most, like giving away his millions of dollars to as many organizations as possible because, well, why the hell not? He’s David Geffen.

The 72-year-old billionaire just donated $100 million towards renovating Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center in New York City.

“It was a quick yes for me,” Geffen, worth an estimated $6.9 billion, told The New York Times. “I had the money.”

One hundred million smackeroos is one hell of a donation. Part of the deal includes renaming the space the David Geffen Hall. (We’d say that’s a fair trade.)

The David Geffen Hall will be added to the ever-growing list of the buildings named after the entertainment magnate. It’s a pretty good assortment. We must say, the man has good taste, better, perhaps, than in young men.

What are some of the others? Let’s take a look…

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The Geffen Playhouse

In 1995, Geffen, a lifelong theater enthusiast, donated $5 million to the Westwood Playhouse in Los Angeles. In return, the theater was renamed to the Geffen Playhouse. Today, it is one of the most esteemed in Los Angeles, featuring world class talent and collecting more than 40 regional theater awards.

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The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA

An extension of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, the Geffen Contemporary originally opened its doors in 1983 as the Temporary Contemporary. It was meant to be an interim exhibition hall while the museum’s main building was under construction, but the space proved so popular among critics and museum goers alike that it was kept open even after the main building was complete. In 1996, Geffen donated $5 million to the Temporary Contemporary and the museum was renamed the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA. Today it features large-scale sculptural works and multi-media installations, many of which are designed specifically for the space.

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David Geffen Center for HIV Prevention and Health Education

A longtime advocate for HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention, Geffen partnered with the Gay Men’s Health Crisis in New York to established the David Geffen Center, which provides free, confidential HIV rapid testing, syphilis testing, and Hepatitis C testing in all five of the city’s boroughs. Geffen also partnered with the AIDS Project Los Angeles to offer similar services, as well as housing and other support to people living with HIV/AIDS, in Southern California.

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The David Geffen School of Medicine at U.C.L.A.

In 2002, Geffen announced he was giving $200 million to the School of Medicine at UCLA, making it one of the two largest donations ever made to a medical school in the United States. In recognition of the gift, the school was renamed to the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. In 2012, Geffen donated an additional $100 million to the School to cover the full cost of attendance for up to 30 students per year beginning with the Class of 2017. His combined $300 million in donations makes him the largest individual benefactor for the entire UC system.

Related stories:

David Geffen’s 21-Year-Old Ex-Boy Toy Admits To Stalking The Billionaire

Billionaire David Geffen And Studly Boy Toy Break Up, Causing Newspaper To Name-Drop Grindr

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52 Comments

  • Cam

    So he donates money he can easily afford and has them name all of the buildings after him for his own self agrandizment.

    Ugh, he still sounds like such a douche.

  • Giancarlo85

    The gay version of Silvio Berlusconi lol… but hey, at least the guy was a bit older than the girl Silvio was banging.

  • 1EqualityUSA

    Thanks for the thoughtful donations.

  • lykeitiz

    @Cam: Exactly!

    Congratulations Queerty, on your fine step toward becoming corporate-controlled media.

    “Now that the boy toy is off his back”? “Better taste than in young men?”

    Nice selective memory of the MANY articles you’ve run. How much did that cost him?

  • BJ McFrisky

    This is like me giving $500 to the Red Cross on the condition they rename it the BJ McFrisky Memorial Fund.
    Purchased narcissism, what a concept.

  • Cam

    @BJ McFrisky:

    Wow if BJ and I agree on something….well that says something right there. lol

  • jamesinNYC

    Just when I didn’t think it was possible Queerty has reached a new low- glorifying yet again this raving narcissist Geffen (and at the same time attacking a young man who was manipulated by Geffen). There are many millionaire and billionaires who will donate to such generic causes. In NYC, there is no shortage of elites who willing to give large sums of money to get their names placed on buildings. Given that Geffen is gay he should contribute more (or exclusively) to helping gay people who are being persecuted in Russia, Africa and around the world, helping youth in this country who are abused or disowned because they are gay (though as a predator on young men he may not want to help alleviate their suffering), and to helping advance equal treatment for gay people worldwide.

  • Giancarlo85

    @BJ McFrisky: I thought you would support this guy since you like rich white guys? Oh wait, they have to be straight and republican… I forgot lol.

  • Cam

    @Giancarlo85:

    Hey Hey, don’t hassle BJ today, he and I actually agree on something, that could mean that World Peace, and end to hunger could happen today, as well as friendly aliens will land on the Earth and cure all diseases. I mean, I would have thought those things were less likely! lol

    I heard that when David Geffen goes into Ben and Jerry’s and orders an ice-cream cone, he demands that whatever flavor they give him is called “David Geffenberry”.

  • Desert Boy

    Good for David Geffin.

  • DarSco

    I don’t want to defend on a few bad things he has done. He is helping A LOT of people! 30 students tuition paid that’s VERY NICE! You can’t judge a gift by a person’s wealth. He did not grow up easy and i can’t imagine being a gay teen when he was a teen and being raised by a single mom. It was tough back then the guy worked hard, made a few mistakes BUT you judge someone by the mistakes they have made. I mean, MOST black people DO NOT blame every white person for slavery, segregation, red lining, etc.

  • DarSco

    @DarSco: BUT you judge someone by the mistakes they have made. I MEANT you DO NOT judge someone by the mistakes they have made

  • Cam

    @DarSco:

    You mean how I wasn’t judging him for his mistakes, but rather for having his name put on all of these buildings to scream out to the world “Look what a great guy I am!”. That is my issue with it.

  • Giancarlo85

    @Cam: I’m just pointing out the irony. Personally I don’t see how people can amass so much wealth and so many others are left with so little. But then again the US is becoming a lot like some central American countries where 95% of the country’s wealth is controlled by 2%. Oh wait that’s already happened.

    Rich people usually make donations like that because it looks good for PR, the ego and tax reasons.

  • [email protected]

    He’s still a dick.

  • Charli Girl

    How about a lil paper to fight the anti discriminate religious liberty law crap? Grease the hands that are able to fight the Ted Cruz’s!!!

  • SteveDenver

    An astounding amount of venom aimed toward Geffen.
    Some people find bullying so satisfying.

  • robho3

    I need a new sofa…. I wonder if I should call him and ask for one…I can put a plaque on the side naming it the David Geffen sofa.

  • mz.sam

    Kudos to the phenomenally generous philanthropic Geffen…but still creepily predatory as hell (now who’s the real bully?).

  • Kathukid

    Give me $100 million and I’ll put Geffen tags on everything in my house.

  • Austin77

    Let’s put this donation into perspective.

    With $6,900,000,000 dollars at an extremely conservative 3% post-tax income (something like 7-9% is far more likely), Mr. Geffen like brings in ~$200,000,000 a year just by laying on his couch eating popcorn and watching reruns on Netflix.

    This is not “giving it all away”. Hell, this isn’t even touching the principal. I mean, yay for donating money, but let’s not make it something it isn’t.

  • Cam

    @SteveDenver: said… “An astounding amount of venom aimed toward Geffen. Some people find bullying so satisfying.”

    _________________________

    Can we please agree that trying to claim that pointing out somebody’s self serving nature, or that their behavior can be seen in more than one way isn’t “Bullying”?

    And the fact that you would try to co opt the word that describes kids being murdered or driven to suicide to describe poor David Geffen’s motives being questioned is disgusting.

  • Giancarlo85

    I’m not bullying anyone.

    But, I am just questioning how some can amass so much wealth… while many have little. And I’m also making the note that many of these billionaires make their billions off the backs of others (like their workers).

  • maxdadmark

    @Cam: Really? Explain yourself. Rockefeller Center, Anything “Washington”, “Jefferson”, “Lincoln”, Ford Company, “Macy’s”, …. He earned it, he’s giving it away to good causes, what are you doing for society?

  • maxdadmark

    @BJ McFrisky: Still a self-hating homo, are ya?

  • maxdadmark

    @SteveDenver: Don’t call it bullying. These queens are seething at home and have no where better (at that moment) to vent their spleen. People snipe at the Kennedys, Jimmy Carter, and Warren Buffet. Wish they would aim their fire at the Koch’s or Adelson. They are just like little yappy dogs, nipping at your heels.

  • polarisfashion

    @Giancarlo85: Yup, take the Walton’s for example. They can afford to stash billions in savings in the Cayman Islands but somehow can’t afford to pay their workers a living wage. I bring this up to conservatives and they say well that’s just the free market and its legal. I say it’s morally and unethically wrong and I get labeled a communist.

    Why are conservatives okay with people who have a problem with hoarding their money? If they didn’t have workers, they wouldn’t have their money now would they? I don’t see anything wrong with workers demanding to be paid a fair salary. No person who works full time should live in poverty.

    Now here is a question for my libertarian friends. Companies like Walmart pay their workers so badly that they can qualify for food stamps, housing assistance, and other government subsidies. Why should our tax dollars pay for any of this when the Walton family can easily give their workers a decent salary and benefits? Every single Walmart costs their community an average of one million dollars per store every year! If Walmart actually paid their workers, then this tax money can be better spent on things like infrastructure, education, and other community needs. Okay I’m done with my rant until someone posts something stupid!

  • jamesinNYC

    I guess geffen has put his publicists to work on this matter. For the record, bullying involves an imbalance in power between the bully and the target (with the bully having greater power). It is absurd to equate questioning a billionaire like geffen with bullying. maxdadmark- aka geffen’s publicist – you have earned your fee for the day you lapdog.

  • Cam

    @maxdadmark: said… “@Cam: Really? Explain yourself. Rockefeller Center, Anything “Washington”, “Jefferson”, “Lincoln”, Ford Company, “Macy’s”, …. He earned it, he’s giving it away to good causes, what are you doing for society?”
    _______________________________________________

    LOL!!!! Oh, nice try troll. You want me to explain myself? Fine,

    Ford was a company that was named after the person who started it and was it’s only employee at the beginning. He named his company. Lincoln was named by SOMEBODY else in honor of Lincoln, Macy’s was owned by the namesake etc…

    Geffen is going around saying “I’ll give you some money, but I want EVERYBODY to KNOW that I have done this, so not only will I be putting out a ton of press releases, but you also have to name all the buildings after me! (If he gave a shit about AIDS and the people affected by it, then hell, name the building after Ryan White, or a Building after Matthew Sheppard etc…

    He is welcome to tell them to name the buildings after himself, but what he can’t do, is march around doing this, and then expect to convince people that he isn’t doing this for the publicity. The fact that we KNOW how much he is donating and to whom shows that he wants the attention. Hell if his mom was so wonderful, name the damn building after her and the others for some other people and maybe I’d buy the fact that it wasn’t all about him.

  • SteveDenver

    @Cam: You have issues. Have you ever worked in development? When building programs launch, there is a furious search for foundational donors and the tradition is to include naming the building. When you give away your millions, go ahead and name them anything you want. Until then, your protestations are utterly stupid and reek of pettiness.

  • Cam

    @SteveDenver: Oh give it a rest. So many people give without publicity, give without putting out press releases, give without demanding buildings get named after them. I wouldn’t expect anything different though from you, after all, you have been the one claiming that Geffen is the victim of bullying. And anybody who compares Geffen’s situation to that of a kid driven to suicide is the one with issues.
    But hey, let’s say I DO have issues….at least I won’t demand my need for attention is plastered all over a building for all to see.

  • Faggot

    “Part of the deal includes renaming the space the David Geffen Hall. (We’d say that’s a fair trade.)”

    A hall was named in honor of Avery Fisher at Lincoln Center. He didn’t buy it, people gave money to honor him. A more noble and truly generous gesture would have been to donate the money anonymously (as many Jews do — Maimonides is famous for enunciating eight distinctive levels of charitable giving and giving anonymously occupies a high position). Geffen could have also donated the money to honor the original memory of Avery Fisher. Moreover, there are many who have contributed to classical music productively (has Geffen?) and one of those names could adorn the newly fashioned hall using Geffen’s funds.

    The space directly across Lincoln Plaza to the south is known as the New York State Theater, home to New York City Ballet (and former home of New York City Opera). David H. Koch gave the theater a hundred million dollars and its official name now includes his own. Due to his questionable politics, most native New Yorkers and New York residents still call the performance space the State Theater. You may get to rename the space with your cash, but people still have the right to refer to it as they see fit.

  • Billy Budd

    If I were a billionaire, I would be narcissistic too. It is normal to desire to be immortal. At least your name will continue existing.

  • Captain Obvious

    He’s hoping no one will notice that he was trolling a high school for teenaged ass. He’s a pedophile.

  • Billy Budd

    @Captain Obvious: But captain obvious, it seems obvious to me that a 18-yo kid is not a child anymore. Children are children and young men are young men.

  • skatedude

    So Geffen is now the hero, spewing money around like holy water so he can have his name immortalized in brick and stone. I suppose it’s admirable that he’s doing that. But it’s also the little things that count, like how you treat others around you on a personal level and he will not get a free pass from this corner on how he disrupted a young man’s life, namely Jamie Kuntz. He met up anonymously with Kuntz, romanced him, kissed him in public, outed him, hid from the press, used him and then left him marked it with a criminal record, along with two years worth of psychiatric visits. If anyone needs psychiatric visits on behavior modification, it’s Geffen. I tried to post moderately negative reviews to the New York Times comment section relating to his 100 million dollar gift to Lincoln center and they were never posted as also happened on several other websites. Geffen’s bad influence and power over the press and public forums is formidable. Shame on the United State Press Corp for coddling this egotist. By the way, the Associated Press STILL will not identify him as the boyfriend kissing Kuntz in the follow stories. So much for journalistic integrity. And this from the number one rated influential gay man in America?

  • skatedude

    Since when is a 69 year old billionaire an even match with a just turned 18 year old from a small town in podunkville, North Dakota. Get a grip.

  • skatedude

    Tell that to Jamie Kuntz and all the other boys he’s used up and cast off.

  • skatedude

    And lets not forget that Geffen gets a tax deduction for his 100 million dollar gift minus the 15 million for naming rights. Since his income is passive income, his tax rate is probably no higher than 15%, so interest on 6.9 billion annually would conservatively be around 200 million and his taxes would be 30 million. So he gets to deduct at least 50% of his adjusted gross income from taxation and gets to carry over the remainder until the total contribution is used up. Don’t be blinded by the Wizard of Oz here, as Geffen’s in it for the tax savings and personal aggrandizement. Congratulations to George W. Bush for reforming the tax code, so that rich people could get even richer. I feel sorry for Mr. Geffen’s two nieces who stand to inherit such obscene wealth.

  • NJjoe

    For a cool $3 million he can tattoo “the David Geffen [email protected]” on mine. No seriously. He is doing good thngs with his money. Those days of boy parties are probably history and he has reflected back and wants to make a difference. Good for him!

  • Cam

    @skatedude:

    Good point on the tax break. Also, the media lies for him he is in his 70’s not 60’s.

  • BJ McFrisky

    @maxdadmark: Self-hating? I ask you: How could someone as awesome as me possibly hate himself?

  • Stache99

    @Billy Budd: Actually they met earlier. 18 yo is the line Geffen is giving.

  • Saint Law

    @BJ McFrisky: You are overcompensating. Madly.

  • skatedude

    @Saint Law: History my ass, Geffen’s still going strong. It all those blood transfusions from 16 year olds that keep him going.

  • johnnya2

    @Cam: He did what MANY people do all the time. Vanderbilt University could have been called Tennessee Private School for Advanced Learning. BUT Mr V put up the money to have his own school. SO WHAT. The fact is LINCOLN Center SOLD the naming rights to the Avery Fisher Hall.
    “The naming rights for Avery Fisher Hall, which first opened in 1962, recently came up for bid in an effort to raise money for the hall’s renovation, which is slated to commence in 2019 and is expected to cost approximately $500 million.”
    As for his medical school and other donations, I see it as fitting to know where the funds came from. I have relatives who were treated for cancer at the Karmonas Cancer Institute (funded by the founder of Compuware) and know others who have been treated at the CS Mott Childrens hospital. My doctor is part of the HENRY FORD HEALTH SYSTEM
    How is having his name on it a BAD thing? He BOUGHT the naming rights. If you buy a boat you can nae it ANYTHING YOU WANT.

  • johnnya2

    @BJ McFrisky: No it is not. The NAMING rights were put to bid by Lincoln Center. If the Red Cross was building a homeless shelter and said the highest bidder gets to put their name on it, and YOU were the highest bidder, then you can do that.

  • johnnya2

    @BJ McFrisky: No it is not. The NAMING rights were put to bid by Lincoln Center. If the Red Cross was building a homeless shelter and said the highest bidder gets to put their name on it, and YOU were the highest bidder, then you can do that. @skatedude: You have no idea what you are talking about. You are too simple to understand how these donations work. It is NOT handed over in a single check. It is handed out over several years. In fact, the Lincoln donation is CONTRACTUALLY set up to be done in 8 years. Yes, there are tax benefits to donating. SO WHAT. Do you take ANY tax deductions? WHY? I could ay you are screwing the people who are poorer than you. Who decides what is the right level to decide poorness.

  • Cam

    @johnnya2:

    He didn’t buy all of those naming rights, he said that the name change was a condition of the donation.

    And again, in your hysteria you leave out the part where large numbers of people donate anonymously. They don’t send out press releases. You haven’t been able to explain why donating anonymously is somehow not a good thing. Those people are the heroes, donating because they want to help with nothing in return.

    Yes, I understand, people have things named after them, but please don’t try to pretend that it isn’t a self centered form of self-aggrandizement.

    He has multiple buildings now named after him, he sent out press releases, and he gets a big fat tax write off.

    All in all a very good thing for him.

  • skatedude

    Johnnya2, who the hell cares how Geffen is giving the money, one year or five. The point is is that he is demanding personal attention for his gifts, like his almost unheard of request for naming a building “in perpetuity.” My point is, given his background and character why are people so eager to accept it? He’s hiding his sexual improprieties, his abuse of people with less power than he,and the press is both protecting him and gladhanding him all the way. You can’t even post a negative comment regarding him on other websites without moderators deleting it. (Queerty excepted). I want buildings named after people I admire, not ones I don’t. Our country is in a second “gilded age,” and our government is allowing the billionaires to skip paying their fare share of taxes. Even Warren Buffet agrees on that point. Has anyone heard of the magic of compound interest? Pretty soon the 1% will control over 60% of the wealth of our nation. That means that the playing field for our children will NOT be anywhere near equal. As a gay man, we deserve to better from our community than David Geffen.

  • MarionPaige

    TWO really put this in some kind of perspective:

    1. Steve Jobs had more money and if he gave anything at all to charity he must have done it secretly because no one seems to know about it.

    2. According to rumor, while “The Richest Man in America” gives a load of money away to help people around the world, RUMOR HAS IT HE MAKES MONEY OFF OF WHAT HE GIVES AWAY as a result of this strategic investments in drug companies (that benefit from his giving away medicine to third world countries).

    The bottom line is what does it matter WHY some billionaire is giving away money for the public benefit or what percentage of that billionaire’s wealth he is giving away? As long as someone is helped by the gesture, that’s all that matters.

    If Geffen is gonna live the way he lives, then it is a good thing that he can be shamed into trying to do something respectable.

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