New York City, US – Business magnate, producer and film studio executive David Geffen donated a $100 million gift to the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York. The money will be used for their latest renovation and expansion, said Geffen on a statement. This marks the largest gift that the MoMA has received since Kenneth C. Griffin donated about $40 million back in December for last year.
The expansion that the Museum will be constructing includes three floors for new galleries that will be included in the tower at west of the museum, at 53 West 53rd Street. The particular area will also be known as the “David Geffen Wing”, as well as the fourth-floor suite of galleries in the current building, but these ones will be renamed this spring. The work will add 50,000 square feet of gallery space and is projected to cost around $440 million.
But what exactly made Geffen donate such an enormous amount of money to the MoMA? Geffen stated that he has “been going there regularly since I was 20 years old. I love the museum and its collection”. 53 years ago, he was a frequent visitor of the museum back when he was working in the mail room at the talent firm William Morris Agency.
David Geffen, who was born in Brooklyn, New York, has actually become one of the most powerful men in Hollywood. How about that for a humble beginning for the business magnate? Geffen has turned his philanthropic attentions to New York City in the past few years. Back in 2002, he announced a $200 million unrestricted endowment for the School of Medicine at UCLA. The school later renamed it in his honor as the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.
David Geffen: Magnate and philanthropist
Geffen has developed a reputation as a prominent philanthropist for his publicized support of medical research, from AIDS organizations to arts and theatres.
Back in 1995 he donated $5 million towards UCLA’s Westwood Playhouse that was also renamed in his honor as Geffen Playhouse. Along with Kenneth Langone’s gift to New York University School of Medicine, Geffen’s donation is the largest donation ever made to a medical school in the United States.
On December 13, 2012, UCLA announced that Geffen had donated another $100 million in addition to his 2002 donation of $200 million, making him the largest individual benefactor for the UC system.
Last year Geffen gave $100 million toward renovation of what is currently Avery Fisher Hall, part of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York. His gift, which will cover about 20% of the hall’s renovation, will give him naming rights in perpetuity over the building, which will be known as David Geffen Hall.
Coming from humble beginnings
Geffen created or co-created Asylum Records in 1970 along with his partner Elliott Roberts, Geffen Records in 1980 (stopped working at 2009), DGC Records in 1990, and also DreamWorks SKG in 1994.
Geffen has also been estimated at a net worth of $6,8 billion making him one of the richest people in the entertainment industry. With that kind of money, it is no wonder the billionaire has made a name for itself as a generous benefactor in the U.S.
Source: Wall Street Journal