Inside Hollywood’s Billionaire Donor Class and David Geffen’s $150 Million Gift to Yale

”Not all Hollywood donors have his kind of wealth…(they) are not Geffen wealthy. They’re not Spielberg wealthy,“ one philanthropy expert says

Some Hollywood stars make a lot of money, like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson who made $87.5 million in 2020. But only a handful of entertainment industry figures rank as billionaires, able like David Geffen to donate $150 million to Yale Drama School so it could go tuition-free in perpetuity.

In fact, industry watchers say that most well-known performers and celebrities leverage their fame and influence to get other people to donate money, rather than giving huge amounts from their own bank accounts. That leaves the biggest personal gifts to those who have built their fortunes on the business side.

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Diane Haithman

Senior Entertainment Business Reporter • • @dhaithman