NET WORTH: $750 million
SOURCE OF WEALTH: Walt Disney, DreamWorks SKG
FUNDING AREAS: Education & Youth, Health, Arts & Culture, Environment, Human & Civil Rights, Los Angeles and NYC Communities, Jewish Causes.
OVERVIEW: Jeffrey Katzenberg’s giving touches a range of causes. A top interest is health. He and his wife Marilyn started the Marilyn and Jeffrey Katzenberg Foundation in 1994. Los Angeles serves as a major site of philanthropy.
BACKGROUND: Katzenberg grew up in New York City. He didn’t attend college though, instead becoming an assistant to a director at Paramount studios, then assistant to its chairman, eventually working his way up to president of production. When then Paramount President Michael Eisner left the studio to become CEO of The Walt Disney Company, Katzenberg went with him to head up the company’s motion picture division and helped take it from last at the box office among major studios to No. 1. Later, he teamed up with Steven Spielberg and David Geffen to form DreamWorks SKG, where he headed up the animation department, which was eventually spun off into an independent company.
EDUCATION & YOUTH: Katzenberg and his wife Marilyn have supported Boston University, which both their children attended. They’ve also donated the Marilyn and Jeffrey Katzenberg Center for Animation at the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts as well, where Katzenberg serves on the board, and he is on the board of the California Institute of the Arts as well. In 2008, he founded the DreamWorks Animation Academy of Inner-City Arts. Recent foundation grantees have included After-School Matters, L.A.'s Promise, and Children's Defense Fund.
HEALTH: Katzenberg is on the board of the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, which has received support as well asAIDS Project Los Angeles. Other grantees have included American Heart Association, Joyful Heart Foundation, Los Angeles Free Clinic, and Elton John AIDS Foundation.
ARTS & CULTURE: Geffen, Spielberg, and Katzenberg pledged $10 million each to the Museum of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. He serves on the board of the American Museum of the Moving Image and the Geffen Playhouse, and has made contributions to the American Film Institute, the Lincoln Center, and a number of smaller theatre companies and arts organizations.
HUMAN & CIVIL RIGHTS: Grantees have included Human Rights Watch, the ACLU, and Feminist Majority Foundation.
JEWISH CAUSES: Katzenberg is on the board of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, and also a regular contributor to the Shoah Foundation, which was created by his friend and sometime business partner Steven Spielberg. He’s also donated to the Friends of Israel Defense Forces, the American Society for Yad Vashem, the PEF Israel Endowment Funds, and several other Jewish organizations.
LOS ANGELES & NEW YORK COMMUNITIES: Katzenberg and his wife are active supporters of Los Angeles community organizations of all kinds, having made donations to food banks, health clinics, arts organizations, police associations, conservation societies, after-school programs, the Los Angeles Zoo, and numerous other types of organizations. Originally from New York, the couple also supports a variety community organizations there, though, to a lesser degree.
OTHER: Along with Spielberg and Geffen, Katzenberg has pledged $30 million to the Motion Picture and Television Fund Foundation, which Katzenberg chairs. The money will be used to endow the organization and support its charitable activities, which include a variety of services for current and former motion picture and television industry employees.
LOOKING FORWARD: In recognition of his philanthropic efforts, Katzenberg received the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award at the 2013 American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Governors Awards, but don’t expect his giving to slow down. His life’s mantra, he says, is “to exceed people’s expectations,” and it is clear this pertains to his philanthropy as well as his filmmaking career.
The Marilyn and Jeffrey Katzenberg Foundation does not provide a clear avenue to get in touch with the couple but below is an address
Marilyn and Jeffrey Katzenberg Foundation
11400 W. Olympic Blvd. No 550
Los Angeles, CA 90064