David Geffen

David Geffen  at the 36th AFI Lifetime Achievement Award Tribute

Geffen in 2008, photo by s_bukley/Bigstock.com

Birth Name: David Lawrence Geffen

Place of Birth: Brooklyn, New York City, New York, U.S.

Date of Birth: February 21, 1943

Ethnicity: Ashkenazi Jewish

David Geffen is an American business magnate, producer, film studio executive, and philanthropist.

His father, Abraham Geffen, was a Lithuanian Jewish emigrant, from Vilnius. His mother, Batya Israelovna (Volovskaya), was a Moldovan Jewish emigrant, from Yagorlik, near Dubăsari, Transnistria.

David created or co-created Asylum Records in 1970, Geffen Records in 1980, DGC Records in 1990, and DreamWorks SKG in 1994. The other founders of DreamWorks are Jeffrey Katzenberg and Steven Spielberg.

David’s patrilineal ancestry can be traced back to his sixth great-grandfather, David Bentsion Gafanovich, of Kupiškis. Kupiškis was the hub for Jews from Portugal, who were of Sephardi Jewish origin. However, it is not clear if David had Sephardi ancestry.

David’s paternal grandfather was named Eliezer Leyb “Elias” Geffen (the son of Avraham/Abram David Geffen and Chana Gita “Sophie”). Eliezer was born in Ukmergė, Ukmergė District Municipality, Vilnius County, Lithuania. Avraham was the son of Eliash Jonah Geffen and Yocheved.

David’s paternal grandmother was named Mina “Minnie” Montvilishky (the daughter of Link Geffen Montviliski). Mina was born in Merkinė, Varėna District Municipality, Alytus County, Lithuania.

David’s maternal grandfather was named Israel Volovsky.

David’s maternal grandmother was named Sara Torgovitskaya.

Sources: Genealogy of David Geffen – https://www.geni.com

Naturalization record of David’s mother – http://search.ancestry.com

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