David C. Bohnett (born April 2, 1956) is an American philanthropist and technology entrepreneur.
Life and career
Bohnett was born in Chicago, Illinois. He is the Chairman of the David Bohnett Foundation, a non-profit, grant-making organization with the stated goal of "improving society through social activism." In 1994, along with John Rezner, he co-founded GeoCities, an Internet-based media and e-commerce company, publicly traded on NASDAQ and subsequently acquired by Yahoo! Inc in 1999. In 1998, he was ranked #16 on Time Digital's list of Cyber Elite.
In addition to GeoCities, Bohnett, has had significant involvement with a number of web ventures, including NetZero, Stamps.com, LowerMyBills, Gamesville, PlanetOut Inc., MediaVast, ID90T, Fab.com, and Xdrive. He manages his portfolio of investments through his early stage technology fund, Baroda Ventures. Baroda Ventures is also an investor in Dogvacay, SurfAir, GradientX, PocketChange, Retention Science, GraphEffect and the behavioral commerce technology company, SteelHouse.com.
He is a Vice Chairman of the Board of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, and Trustee of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts amFar, the Foundation for AIDS Research and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). He is also a supporter of the effort to clean up Lake Agawam in Southampton, New York.
Bohnett received a Doctorate of Humane Letters, Honoris Causa from Whittier College, his MBA in finance from the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business, and a BS in business administration from the University of Southern California. In addition, he has lectured at the Marshall School of Business at USC, and was named a Regents' Lecturer at the University of California, Los Angeles.
David Bohnett's many awards and distinctions include Los Angeles Business Journal's Technology Leader of the Year, Time Digital's Top 50 Cyber Elite, and Entrepreneur of the Year for Southern California.
Bohnett maintains residences in California and New York.
He was most recently partnered for eleven years with Tom Gregory, radio and internet personality and socio-political and entertainment industry commentator. Prior to Gregory, Bohnett was involved in a ten-year relationship with Los Angeles Municipal Court judge and AIDS activist Rand Schrader until Schrader's death in 1993. Bohnett was Schrader's life insurance beneficiary, and Bohnett used the money to help create Beverly Hills Internet, which was the precursor to GeoCities.
The stated mission of the David Bohnett Foundation is, "David Bohnett and the David Bohnett Foundation are committed to improving society through social activism. We pursue our mission by providing funding, state-of-the-art technology and technical support to innovative organizations and institutions that, in addition to meeting our funding guidelines, share our vision."
Since 1999, the David Bohnett Foundation has offered nearly $50 million in grants supporting several primary funding areas: The Fund for Los Angeles, supporting a broad spectrum of arts, educational and civic programs; LGBT-related causes; graduate school leadership programs at the University of Michigan, UCLA, NYU and Harvard; voting rights and registration initiatives; supporting research and public policies to reduce the toll of firearm violence; and animal research and rights. The David Bohnett CyberCenters are another major undertaking—numbering 59 locations nationwide, they offer business, educational, research, and recreational opportunities to underserved LGBT communities via computer equipment and access to the Internet.
As a contemporary art collector, Bohnett owns works by leading artists such as Clytie Alexander, Henri Cartier-Bresson, John Chamberlain, Hans Hoffman, David Hockney, Brad Howe, Agnes Martin, Catherine Opie, George Rickey, Edward Ruscha, Mark di Suvero, and Robert Rauschenberg. David Bohnett’s technology collection represents items that have had a major impact on society, that are well designed, and are innovative firsts in their field, including an Edison Stock Ticker (1890), an Eastman Brownie Box Camera 2A (c1910), an Enigma Machine (1945), a Philco Safari Portable Television (1959), a Seeburg 1000 Background Music System (1963) and a Microchip Computer (1975). In 2007, David Bohnett donated a collection of Winsor McCay animation drawings to the Fales Library at New York University.
- The Fales library guide to the David C. Bohnett collection of Winsor McCay Drawings
- David Bohnett Foundation
- Baroda Ventures
- "David Bohnett Foundation". Retrieved 2010-06-05.
- "Top Fifty Cyber Elite". TIME Digital. 1998-10-05. Retrieved 2007-05-14.
- "Fab Seals The Deal on $105 Million in New Funding". Retrieved 2013-01-15.
- "Cause/Effect". LA Times. Retrieved 2009-07-14.
- "Baroda Ventures LLC". Retrieved 2007-05-16.
- "SteelHouse Raises $6.3 Million to Be the eHarmony of E-Commerce". Retrieved 2012-01-11.
- "Diane Paul succeeding David Bohnett as L.A. Philharmonic board chair". Retrieved 2013-10-17.
- "Caroline Kennedy, David Bohnett Named Kennedy Center trustees". Retrieved 2013-01-15.
- "New website will allow residents to monitor Lake Agawam water quality". Southampton Press. Retrieved 2009-07-14.
- "Philanthropist David Bohnett Becomes An Honorary Poet". Retrieved 2013-01-15.
- ""Brokeback" shirts' auction winner speaks". PlanetOut Entertainment. Retrieved 2007-05-25.
- Michael Kearns (1999-11-24). "Out on the Web". LA Weekly. Retrieved 2010-11-02.
- "Map of David Bohnett CyberCenter locations". David Bohnett Foundation. Retrieved 2011-09-14.
- "David Bohnett Foundation gives $500,000 in 'refresh' grants". LGBT POV. Retrieved 2010-05-19.
- "The Fales library guide to the David C. Bohnett collection of Winsor McCay Drawings". nyu.edu. 2009-03-04. Retrieved 2010-06-05.