He helped bring Nirvana to the mainstream, co-founded DreamWorks SKG, and backed seminal Broadway shows like "Cats" and "Dreamgirls."
Now David Geffen is receiving the "American Masters" treatment courtesy of PBS, joining the likes of Woody Allen, Martha Graham, Norman Rockwell and Johnny Carson.
In addition, PBS said that it will air segments on Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer and poet Carl Sanburg and Joffrey Ballet, the dance company founded by Robert Joffrey and Gerald Arpino.
Unlike those other subjects, Geffen's contributions come not for his art, but for his keen eye for finding talent and for deal-making. He created both Geffen Records and Asylum Records, the homes to the likes of Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Aerosmith and Sonic Youth.
But he did not just remain a music titan. Geffen produced films like "Interview with the Vampire" and "Risky Business," before joining with Jeffrey Katzenberg and Steven Spielberg to launch DreamWorks SKG in 1994.
In its early years, while Geffen was still involved, the studio fielded such commercial and critical successes as "American Beauty" and "Saving Private Ryan."
In addition to his work as a media mogul, Geffen, who was openly gay long before it was fashionable, let alone safe to be so, is also frequently linked with liberal causes and politicians like Bill Clinton.
He has also given money to AIDS groups and art foundations. Geffen's "American Masters" episode will air on November 20 at 8 p.m.
The Sandburg segment will air on September 24 at 10 p.m. and the Joffrey Ballet episode will air on December 28 at 9 p.m.