Larry Ellison


Larry Ellison Facts – #50 Fun Facts

Larry Ellison Facts - Biography

Larry Ellison Facts – Biography

Early Years

1) Larry Ellison Born in 1944

Ellison is born to Florence Spellman in August 1944.

Spellman is unwed and nineteen at the time, and Ellison’s father is a United States Air Force pilot stationed overseas before he knows he will have a son.

At the age of nine months, Larry contracts pneumonia after which his aunt and uncle in Chicago adopt him.

2) Adoptive Parents

Amongst his adoptive parents, he is closer to his mother who is always warm and caring towards him.

His adoptive father on the other hand is unsupportive and austere most of the time.

He is a government employee with a small fortune that he invests in real estate but during the great depression, most of their fortune is lost.

3) The Ellison Name

Larry Ellison’s adoptive father Louis Ellison selects his last name from the Ellis Island, which is the point from where he enters the United States to start his new life.

He basically honors his point of entry into the country by keeping Ellison as his last name.

Larry Ellison Education

4) Schooling

He graduates from elementary school (Eugene Field Elementary School) in January 1958 and then joins Sullivan High School till the fall of next year before packing his bags and shifting to South Shore.

He lives in a very small, two room apartment in Chicago amongst a middle class neighborhood consisting mostly of Jewish community.

5) Dropped Out of University of Illinois

Ellison drops out of the University of Illinois for not writing his second year final exams after his adoptive mother dies.

He later joins the University of Chicago, only to drop out again after one semester.

6) Moves to California

At the age of 20, he completely leaves studies and moves to California to try his luck in the corporate world.

By this time, he has found his interest in the world of computers and software.

He initially works with Amdhal Corporations but his experience with the company is brief as he gets a job offer from Ampex Corporation.

Larry Ellison Early Career

7) Ampex Corporation

In the 1970’s Ellison works for the Ampex Corporation.

It was here he coins the name ‘Oracle’ for the database software he designs for the CIA.

He gets his inspiration about the database from a paper written by Edgar F. Codd which is about database systems.

8) Relational Softwares Inc.

It is not until 1979 that he finds his own Software Development Laboratories, later to be renamed Relational Softwares Inc.

However, after the great success of oracle database software, Ellison changes the name of his company yet again to Oracle – this new name marks the beginning of a successful future for the young software developer.

Larry Ellison: Problems

9) Oracle 2

His main competition in the beginning is the IBM System R, a database developed on the basis of Codd’s theories as well.

He asks IBM to share their codes but they refuse to do so.

Ellison wants his database systems to be compatible with those of System R, so after much research, he releases Oracle 2 directly instead of Oracle 1.

10) Threat of Bankruptcy for Oracle

In 1990, the company lays off around 400 employees (10 percent of the total workforce) because of financial crisis.

The crisis is so severe that it causes a threat of bankruptcy for the company.

11) Reason Behind Financial Crisis at Oracle

The reason behind the financial crisis is the aggressive and up front marketing strategy that the company adopts.

The sales personnel convinces potential customers to get all the oracle software at once while issuing license to them in the future.

This increases the bonuses of the sales team but it becomes a problem when most of the sale promises did not actually materialize.

12) Lawsuit Threat

Apart from this, the company also faces a lawsuit during the same time because of overstating its income.

The lawsuit is settled out of court and Ellison makes sure that the reported earnings are adjusted fairly.

13) Tough Competition from IBM

During the 1990s, Oracle faces tough competition from IBM who dominates the market with SQL/SD and DB2 database options, however, IBM lags in producing a product for windows and UNIX, and Oracle takes the opportunity at once to grab the market.

At this time, the main rival that Ellison faces is Sybase.

14) Informix Takes Over Sybase

In 1994, Informix takes over Sybase and the rivalry between Ellison and Phil White (Informix CEO) becomes so intense that it makes headlines from Silicon Valley’s side of the world for more than three years.

However, Informix later dissolves and the president Phil White ends up in jail.

Professional Success of Larry Ellison

15) Director of Apple Computers

Besides working for himself from 1997 to 2002 Ellison works as a director of Apple Computers.

He is appointed shortly after Steve Jobs returns to the company as the two of them are close friends.

The directorship ends with Ellison citing inadequate time to attend formal board meetings.

16) His Salary

By 2005, Ellison receives a pay of 975,000 dollars along with a bonus of almost 6500,000 dollars and a compensation amounting up to 955,000  dollars approximately.

In 2008, along with an increase in bonus and salary, Ellison also gets stock options equal to 50,087,100 dollars.

17) Buys Sun Microsystems

In 2009, Oracle decides to buy Sun Microsystems and gets involved in a tug of war between IBM and HP.

By 2010, European Union gives the decision in favor of Oracle thus landing another 7 million dollars’ worth of stock options in Ellison’s pocket.

18) Best Paid Executives

The Wall street Journal states in 2010 that Ellison is amongst the best-paid executives in the industry with the total compensation amounting to around 1.84 billion dollars.

19) Eighth Richest Person Worldwide

He currently has stakes in a number of companies including Oracle,, Quark biotechnology Inc., NetSuite and Astex Pharmaceuticals.

According to the October 2012 Bloomsberg Billionaire Index, he is the eighth richest person in the world.

20) Different Titles

The year 2000 sees a brief period where Larry Ellison is the richest man in the world.

In 2010 he gets the title of the sixth richest in the world.

2011 sees him even closer as the fifth richest man.

However, as of 2012, Ellison drops to eighth richest in the world and third richest in America, just behind Bill Gates and Warren Buffet.

21) Richest Man in California

After Informix dissolves, Oracle enjoys complete dominance of the market for a small period of time until Microsoft and IBM come back into action.

However, this small period helps Ellison earn so much money that by 2006, Forbes declares him as the richest man in California.

Larry Ellison: Personal Life

22) Meets Steve Jobs

Ellison and Jobs first meet as neighbors in Woodside California.

Larry Ellison walks over to his then neighbor Steve Jobs to complain about a peacock that wanders into his property and wakes him.

Steve Jobs’ replies by telling him about how he detests the bird just as much and the two need to convince his girlfriend to get rid of it.

23) Close Friends with Mark Hurd

Another close friend of Ellison’s is Mark Hurd, former CEO of Hewlett-Packard.

Ellison has much to say, when the H.P. Board let Hurd go from his post in 2010.

He states that the board of Hewlett Packard makes their biggest mistake.

He then hires Hurd as one of Oracle’s co-presidents.

24) Marriages

Larry Ellison marries four times.

Each time he divorces his wife.

His first marriage is to Adda Quinn from 1967 to 1974.

Nancy Wheeler is number two, from 1983 to 1986.

Barbara Boothe is his third wife from 1983 to 1986.

His final marriage is to Romance Novelist, Melanie Craft, from 2003 to 2010.

25) Nancy Wheeler

His second wife Nancy Wheeler gives up all claims on her husband’s property just for 500 dollars.

He marries her around the time when he creates Software Development Laboratories.

26) Barbara Boothe

Barbara Boothe (his third wife) is originally a receptionist at the Relational Software Inc.

27) Steve Jobs Covers His Fourth Wedding

The official photographer for the wedding of Larry Ellison and Malanie Craft (his last wife) is the founder of Apple, Steve Jobs.

28) College Dropout

Ellison is a college dropout like Steve Jobs and Michael Dell, so it shows that having a college degree is probably not that important in achieving success in life.

Social Work

29) Donations to Charity

Larry Ellison donates around 151,100,000 dollars to charities as reported by Forbes in 2004.

This only constitutes one percent of his total personal income.

However, this does not mean he doesn’t do any charitable work; he claims that charity is one of his private matters and therefore the media should not intrude on it.

30) The Giving Pledge

Ellison is a signatory of The Giving Pledge.

This is a movement to encourage the richest people of the United States to commit to donating most of their wealth to philanthropic causes.

Others to sign the pledge are Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and Warren Buffet.

31) Philanthropy

Philanthropic causes are something Ellison truly believes in and he donates to countless organizations over the years.

He donates many millions to causes he believes in, and claims he will continue to do so over the years both publicly and privately since charity is a personal matter to him.

32) His Charity Foundation

Larry Ellison has his own charity foundation along with the numerous charities that he donates in off and on.

Once he gets involved in a lawsuit related to insider trading of around 1 billion dollars’ worth of Oracle stocks, he donates 100 million dollars to his own foundation in order to avoid admission of wrong doings.

33) Donation to Stanford University

Apart from this, some of his charitable donation to the Stanford University raises a number of questions about the credibility of his intentions and the opinion of the professors about the Oracle software.

However, these accusations are never justified.

34) Offers Help to the Government after Attacks of 9/11

After the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Centre, Larry Ellison offers the government such software that will help them build, manage and generate such a national database that can be used for identification and production of ID cards.

He offers to provide the software free as a charitable action.

His offer raises many controversies and the government turns it down.

35) $115 Million Pledge to Harvard University

He makes a pledge to Harvard University of almost 115 million dollars but he refuses to honor his promise in 2006 as the president Lawrence Summers is no longer a part of the university.

The Oracle official spokesperson conducts a proper press conference to explain the sudden change of heart by Larry Ellison.

36) Signing The Giving Pledge

While signing The Giving Pledge, he writes that he has put almost all his assets in a trust a long time ago and he intends to give away 95 percent of his wealth to charitable causes but he has done most of the charity quietly over the years.

He claims to have given millions for research and that he wants to give billions more for research, education and medical training in the future as well.

Personal Interests of Larry Ellison

37) Appeared in Iron Man 2

In 2010, Larry Ellison also makes a very short appearance in the movie Iron Man 2.

The same year, he invests in BNP Paribas Open which is one of the top four tennis tournaments within the United States by purchasing 50 percent of its shares.

38) Licensed Pilot

Not only this, he is a licensed pilot too and is warned about violating the air traffic rules late in the night in California.

39) Reform Jew

His adoptive parents raise him as a Reform Jew; however, he never takes on the religion fully.

Although he attends synagogue service every weekend, at age thirteen, Ellison chooses not to have a bar Mitzvah.

While respecting the dogma and mythology of Judaism’s doctrines he claims that it is based more on mythology than fact.

40) Enjoys Yachting

Ellison likes yachting himself as well; he works a crew member of the second race in the 33rd American Cup.

His yacht wins the first race and moves on to the second one creating a historic victory for BMW and Oracle team.

41) His Yacht Capsizes

In 2010, one of Ellison’s US$ 8 million dollar yacht capsizes in the San Francisco Bay during a sailing practice.

The crew collects salvageable parts and puts them together as a plane to compete in a ‘wacky’ event in the San Francisco Bay Area.

It still looks more like a boat than a plane, but it makes the cut for the new event.

Larry Ellison Assets

42) Heirs to His Fortune

The two heirs to the fortune Ellison leaves behind are his two children, David and Megan Ellison from his third marriage to Barbara Boothe.

David and Megan are known for their own work in Hollywood circles as executive producers for hits such as True Grit, and Mission Impossible – Ghost Protocol.

43) The Rising Sun

Up until 2010, Ellison is the owner of the tenth largest yacht in the world.

The Rising Sun is a motor yacht spanning 453 feet.

This boat cost over 200 million USD to build, and consists of 82 rooms on five levels, Jacuzzi bathrooms, complete fitting of a gymnasium and spa, a plasma screen cinema and a basketball court cum helicopter pad.

David Geffen of Geffen Records now owns it.

44) Owns Airplanes

Ellison also has a few airplanes in his name.

These include two private jets and two fighter jets, a SIAI Marchetti S.211 and a decommissioned MiG-29.

45) Owns Luxurious Cars

Larry Ellison’s money also affords him the luxury of some incredibly expensive cars.

A few noteworthy mentions are his Lexus LFA, the Acura NSX, the Audi R8, and the 24-carat gold plated cylinders of his McLaren F1 at US$ 1.5 million dollars.

46) Purchases Lanai

Ellison purchases 98 percent of Hawaii’s sixth largest island, Lanai.

Although the exact purchase price is unknown, the asking price at the time is known to be between US$500-$600 million.

Included in the purchase are its highly popular hotel resorts and club houses.

47) Home in Woodside California

His home in Woodside California is said to be styled after Japanese architecture and costsaround 110 million dollars.

It has an artificial lake which has around 9300 square meters in length and a seismic retrofitted for protection against natural disasters.

The house has been beautifully built and it caters for the third wedding of Larry Ellison as well.

48) Owns Properties in Malibu California

He also owns around 12 properties in Malibu California that have a net worth of more than 180 million dollars.

He buys these properties in 2005 – 06.

Ellison spends around 65 million dollars in five contiguous lots in California making it the most costly residential transaction of the United States.

49) Other Properties He Owns

Similarly, he buys the former home of the Astor family for 10.5 million dollars.

This is located in Rhode Island, Newport.

He also owns a private golf course in Rancho Mirage, California that he bought in 2011 for around 42.5 million dollars.

This property was originally owned by Tim Blixseth who was the founder of the Yellowstone Club.

50) Net Worth

Larry Ellison, CEO of Oracle Corporation has an estimated net worth of US$ 41 billion dollars.

The majority of this wealth is from the 22.5 percent shares that he owns in his company.

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