glbtq: an encyclopedia of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender & queer culture
social sciences
special features
about glbtq


   member name
   Forgot Your Password?  
Not a Member Yet?  

  Advertising Opportunities
  Permissions & Licensing
  Terms of Service
  Privacy Policy






Alpha Index:  A-B  C-F  G-K  L-Q  R-S  T-Z

Subjects:  A-B  C-E  F-L  M-Z

Geffen, David (b. 1943)  
page: 1  2  

According to Tom King, after Rubell's death in 1989, Geffen began making large donations to individuals and charities that were helping people with AIDS. His gifts include $2,500,000 to AIDS Project Los Angeles, $2,500,000 to Gay Men's Health Crisis of New York, and $1,400,000 to AIDS Action in Washington, D. C.

Geffen's particular support of AIDS causes roused the attention of magazine columnist Michelangelo Signorile who, in 1990, blasted Geffen as a hypocrite for not coming out as a gay man.

Tom King has noted that Geffen had resisted making an open statement because of a strong belief that his sexual orientation was a private matter. Geffen realized that by virtue of his success, however, he had become a public figure, and at a 1992 benefit for AIDS Project Los Angeles, David Geffen declared that he was a gay man.

Somewhat surprisingly the disclosure did not detract from Geffen's reputation. In fact, it was viewed by many of his associates as a long overdue and honest admission that could only increase his stature in the entertainment industry.

In 1990, Geffen again struck gold by signing alternative bands Nirvana and Sonic Youth to his record label. That same year, Geffen decided it was time to sell Geffen Records and, after a series of tense negotiations, the label was acquired by MCA for $540,000,000.

In 1994, Geffen joined with noted movie director Steven Spielberg and former Disney Studios chairman Jeffrey Katzenberg to form the media conglomerate DreamWorks SKG. Continuing to use the skills he had honed successfully over the previous thirty-plus years, Geffen works behind the scenes at DreamWorks, brokering deals, colluding with friends, and antagonizing his enemies.

In May of 2002, Geffen donated $200,000,000 to the medical school at UCLA--the largest single donation ever given to an American medical school. University officials announced that the school would be renamed the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.

Nathan G. Tipton

  <previous page   page: 1  2    

Contact Us
Join the Discussion
Related Entries
More Entries by this contributor
A Bibliography on this Topic

Citation Information
More Entries about The Arts

   Related Entries
arts >> Overview:  Music: Popular

Gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered persons have had tremendous influence on popular music, though some musical genres have been more receptive to a homosexual presence than others.

social sciences >> Overview:  Outing

First used by homophobes and then by glbtq activists, outing is the public revelation of a person's sexuality without the consent of that person.

social sciences >> Griffin, Chad

Chad Griffin co-founded the American Foundation for Equal Rights to sponsor a legal challenge to Proposition 8; in June 2012, he assumed the helm of the Human Rights Campaign.

arts >> John, Sir Elton

Pop superstar Elton John's combination of melodic skills, dynamic charisma, and raucous performance style have make him a remarkably popular musical artist.

social sciences >> Signorile, Michelangelo

Michelangelo Signorile is a prolific, and often provocative, writer and activist whose books and articles, radio show, newspaper columns, and website champion the cause of glbtq rights.

arts >> Wenner, Jann

Jann Wenner, founder and editor of the influential music and culture magazine Rolling Stone, was outed in 1995.


King, Tom. The Operator: David Geffen Builds, Buys, and Sells the New Hollywood. New York: Random House, 2000.

Kurutz, Steve. "David Geffen." All Music Guide.

Singular, Stephen. The Rise and Rise of David Geffen. Secaucus, N. J.: Birch Lane Press, 1997.


    Citation Information
    Author: Tipton, Nathan G.  
    Entry Title: Geffen, David  
    General Editor: Claude J. Summers  
    Publication Name: glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual,
Transgender, and Queer Culture
    Publication Date: 2002  
    Date Last Updated August 3, 2005  
    Web Address  
    Publisher glbtq, Inc.
1130 West Adams
Chicago, IL   60607
    Today's Date  
    Encyclopedia Copyright: © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.  
    Entry Copyright © 2002, glbtq, Inc.  


This Entry Copyright © 2002, glbtq, Inc. is produced by glbtq, Inc., 1130 West Adams Street, Chicago, IL   60607 glbtq™ and its logo are trademarks of glbtq, Inc.
This site and its contents Copyright © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.  All Rights Reserved.
Your use of this site indicates that you accept its Terms of Service.