Benjamin Bronfman

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Benjamin Bronfman
Born Benjamin Zachary Bronfman
August 6, 1982 (1982-08-06) (age 41)
New York City, U.S.
Occupation Businessman, musician
Partner M.I.A. (2008–2012)
Children 1
Relatives John Langeloth Loeb Sr. (great-grandfather)
Samuel Bronfman (great-grandfather)
Edgar Miles Bronfman (grandfather)
Hannah Bronfman (sister)

Benjamin Zachary Bronfman (born August 6, 1982) is an American businessman and musician.[1] Bronfman is a founding partner and board member of Global Thermostat, a direct air capture company that removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.[2][3]

Early life

Benjamin Zachary Bronfman was born on August 6, 1982 in New York City to African American actress Sherry Brewer Bronfman and Edgar Bronfman Jr., former chief executive officer of Warner Music Group and heir to one of the most influential Jewish families in the world.[4] He has two sisters, Hannah and Vanessa.[5]

Bronfman lived in London briefly when his father was managing director of Seagram Distilleries Europe. The family returned to New York in 1984 after his father became president of Seagram's US marketing division.[6]

Bronfman attended Collegiate High School in New York City, graduating in 2000.[citation needed] He enrolled in Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts where he studied politics and law.[citation needed]

Environment and technology

Bronfman at TEDx Brooklyn on November 13, 2010 presenting Global Thermostat vision and process

In 2007, Bronfman became interested in direct carbon dioxide removal from the Earth's atmosphere, teamed up with Columbia University economist Graciela Chichilnisky and founded Global Thermostat, where he is a founding partner and a director.[7] Global Thermostat completed the construction of its first pilot plant at The Stanford Research Institute in November 2010.[8] In the year 2018, Bronfman founded DGH, an investment firm for the medical cannabis industry which invested in Bedrocan International. He then contributed as a member of the board of directors from 2018 - 2023 at Bedrocan International., a pharmaceutically focused medical cannabis API supply company in Europe.[citation needed]


Bronfman performing with The Exit in 2004
A music enthusiast since his childhood, Bronfman met Gunnar Olsen in high school and both performed in various bands. One of those bands became an early incarnation of The Exit in 2000 when Bronfman met Jeff DaRosa while attending Emerson College in Boston. The Exit is a critically acclaimed, New York City-based Indie / Post-Punk / Reggae group released two albums.[citation needed]

Bronfman received a Grammy nomination for Best rap song for his collaborative contribution to Kanye West's single "New Slaves" featured on the album "Yeezus".[9] Additionally, he co-produced the track "Monster" which was included on Kanye West's Grammy Award-winning album "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy".

Bronfman is the founder of Green Owl, which claims to be the world's first sustainability-focused record label.[10]

Year Album Track List
2002 New Beat
  1. Worthless
  2. Lonely Man's wallet
  3. Sit and wait
  4. Scream and shout
  5. Trapped
  6. Find me
  7. Still waiting
  8. When I'm Free
  9. Defacto
  10. Question the Chorus
  11. Watertown
2004 Home for an Island
  1. Don't Push
  2. Let's go down the Haiti
  3. Back to the Rebels
  4. Home for an Island
  5. Pressure cooker
  6. Tell me all again
  7. The sun will rise in Queens
  8. Soldier
  9. Warm summer days
  10. Darlin
  11. So leave then
  12. Alredy gone
Year Title
2004 Sing four favorites
2006 The live session EP (iTunes exclusive release)
Music video
Year Title Directed by
2002 Lonely Man's wallet Major Lightner
2004 Let's go to Haiti Major Lightner
2005 Don't push Terry Timley
2005 Soldier Lightner
2006 Back to the Rebels Lightner and Javier Hernandez

Personal life

Bronfman met British rapper M.I.A. in 2008. They became engaged and M.I.A. gave birth to their son on February 13, 2009.[11] In February 2012, it was announced that the two had separated.[12]

Bronfman was the date of fashion designer Aurora James at the 2021 Met Gala.[13][14] James had designed a dress for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, that said “Tax the Rich”, and some commentators suggested it was hypocritical of her to design this dress, then attend the event with a child of a billionaire.

Non-profit work & activism

Since 2010, Bronfman has engaged in cannabis advocacy efforts aimed at promoting legislative changes to grant patients access to cannabis.[15]

He has served on the boards of the following non-profit organizations: Pioneer Works, Liberty Science Center, Americans for Safe Access, and 15 Percent Pledge.


  1. "56th Annual Grammy awards". 
  2. Thermostat, Global. "Global Thermostat unveils one of the world's largest units for removing carbon dioxide directly from air" (in en). 
  3. Trendafilova, Petya (2023-04-05). "Global Thermostat Unveils Its Demonstration Direct Air Capture Plant" (in en-US). 
  4. "Edgar Bronfman, Jr. Biography | Booking Info for Speaking Engagements".,+Jr./389368. 
  5. Ogunnaike, Lola (July 15, 2011). "Ebony: Meet The Black Bronfmans". Retrieved September 24, 2015. 
  6. "Seagram Company Ltd." (in en). 
  7. "About | Global Thermostat". 
  8. "Can a 'Global Thermostat' Turn Climate Change Around? | GreenBiz" (in en). 
  9. "Grammy nominations 2014: The top nominees". December 6, 2013. 
  10. Pompeo, Joe. "The Bed-Stuy Bronfman", The New York Observer, November 24, 2009. Retrieved September 24, 2015.
  12. Jon Levine, Kathianne Boniello (2021-09-21). "AOC’s ‘Tax the Rich’ dress designer Aurora James owes debt in multiple states". New York Post. Archived from the original on 2024-01-08. Retrieved 2024-03-14. 
  13. Judith Thurman (2021-09-17). "What Counts as Protest Fashion?". The New Yorker. Archived from the original on 2024-01-17. Retrieved 2024-03-14. "The press quickly noted that James had emigrated from an upscale neighborhood outside of Toronto, and that she was dating Benjamin Bronfman, the son of a billionaire industrialist." 
  14. Mallinson, Daniel J. (11 April 2020). "Policy and Political Learning: The Development of Medical Marijuana Policies in the States". Publius 50 (3): 344–369. doi:10.1093/publius/pjaa006. 

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