Net Worth: $2 billion
Sourth of Wealth: Entertainment industry
Some people strike it rich by working slowly, steadily, methodically. Not David Geffen.
Geffen dropped out of UCLA to take a job as an usher for CBS television. He then held a string of entry level jobs before talking his way into a mailroom spot at the William Morris Agency.
The rest as they say in Tinseltown is history.
At William Morris, Geffen quickly worked his way into becoming the manager for musical acts at the agency. One such artist folk singer Laura Nyro who gave him 50 percent of her publishing company in exchange for his services as a manager.
Geffen, at age 26, sold the publishing company to CBS and became a millionaire. Then, relying on contacts he had made managing musicians, he set up his first record label, Asylum Records, in 1971. Among his clients were Joni Mitchell, Jackson Browne, The Eagles, Linda Ronstadt and Crosby Stills Nash & Young. He sold the company to Warner Communications one year later for $7 million.
After the sale, Geffen retired briefly after being misdiagnosed with cancer. He bounced back in 1980 to form Geffen Records signing up artists like Guns ‘n Roses, Peter Gabriel, Elton John and Don Henley.
Geffen Records and Geffen Music was sold to MCA Inc. in 1990 in a deal that netted about $710 million. And, yet again, Geffen came back to form yet another label DGC which represents Counting Crows and other bands.
He’s now one of the masterminds behind DreamWorks SKG, and runs the DGC record label.
Geffen is currently dividing most of his attention to building up DreamWorks and managing DGC, according to his publicist.
Joe Bel Bruno