Lawrence Joseph “Larry” Ellison (born August 17, 1944 in The Bronx, New York City, New York) is the co-founder and CEO of Oracle Corporation, one of the world’s leading enterprise software companies. As of 2012, he is the third wealthiest american citizen, with an estimated worth of $36.5 billion. The bulk of Ellison’s fortune comes from his 22.5 percent stake in Oracle.

Fun Facts:

  1. Ellison has been married and divorced four times.
  2. Ellison recently ended his ownership of the eighth largest yacht in the world, named Rising Sun.
  3. Ellison has followed professional tennis all his life, and took up the game in 2004. In 2010, he purchased a 50% share in one of the top four tournaments in the United States.
  4. Ellison owns many exotic cars, including an Audi R8, and a McLaren F1. His favorite is the Acura NSX, which he was known to give as gifts each year during its production.Ellison is also reportedly the owner of a Lexus LFA and a Lexus LS600hL.
  5. In 2000, Ellison was the richest man in the world for a short period.
  6. In 2002, he resigned from the post of director of Apple Computer saying that he did not have the time to attend necessary formal board meetings.
  7. A licensed pilot and owner of several aircrafts.
  8. Larry Ellison is a college drop out.
  9. Ellison reportedly sold his first database to CIA, it was named Oracle Version 2
  10. Several reports claim that Ellison shared a love-hate relationship with Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates. In an interview with Fortune magazine, Ellison also admitted that he hired a private investigator to throw up dirt on Bill Gates.
  11. The ‘brash’ CEO of Oracle has been in news for spending nearly $200 million on near a dozen properties in US’.
  12. Apple founder and former CEO Steve Jobs is among Larry Ellison’s best friends. Jobs is reported to be the official wedding photographer during Ellison’s marriage.

Early Life:

Larry Ellison contracted pneumonia at the age of nine months, his mother determined that she was unable to care for him adequately, and arranged for him to be adopted by her aunt and uncle in Chicago. Larry Ellison did not meet his biological mother again until he was 48.

Ellison graduated from Eugene Field Elementary School on Chicago’s north side in January, 1958 and attended Sullivan High School at least through the fall of 1959 before moving to South Shore.

Ellison grew up in a two-bedroom apartment.. Ellison was a bright but inattentive student. He left the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign at the end of his second year, after not taking his final exams because his adoptive mother had just died. After spending a summer in Northern California, where he lived with his friend Chuck Weiss, Ellison attended the University of Chicago for one term, where he first encountered computer design. In 1964, at 20 years of age, he moved to Northern California permanently.


During the 1970s, after a brief stint at Amdahl Corporation, Ellison worked for Ampex Corporation. One of his projects was a database for the CIA, which he named “Oracle”.

Ellison was inspired by the paper written by Edgar F. Codd on relational database systems called “A Relational Model of Data for Large Shared Data Banks”. In 1977, he founded Software Development Laboratories (SDL). In 1979, the company was renamed Relational Software Inc., later renamed Oracle after the flagship product Oracle database.

In 1990, Oracle laid off 10% (about 400 people) of its work force because it was losing money. This crisis, which almost resulted in Oracle’s bankruptcy, came about because of Oracle’s “up-front” marketing strategy, in which sales people urged potential customers to buy the largest possible amount of software all at once.

In 1994, Informix Software overtook Sybase and became Oracle’s most important rival. The intense war between Informix CEO Phil White and Ellison was front page Silicon Valley news for three years. In April, 1997, Informix announced a major revenue shortfall and earnings restatements; Phil White eventually landed in jail, and Informix was absorbed by IBM in 2000. Also in 1997, Ellison was made a director of Apple Computer after Steve Jobs came back to the company. Ellison resigned in 2002, saying that he did not have the time to attend necessary formal board meetings.

In April 2009, Oracle announced its intent to buy Sun Microsystems after a tug of war with IBM and Hewlett-Packard. The European Union approved the acquisition by Oracle of Sun Microsystems on January 21, 2010 and agreed that “Oracle’s acquisition of Sun has the potential to revitalize important assets and create new and innovative products”.The Sun acquisition also gave Oracle control of the popular MySQL open-source database, which Sun had acquired in 2008.