He is known to live a lavish lifestyle, co-founder and CEO of Oracle Corporation, and mostly known to be among the world’s top richest people, but Larry Ellison’s life from childhood isn’t well known to many. In this feature, we focus on Ellison’s life while growing up, about his education, his investments and so many other things.
Ellison was born to an unwed Jewish mother, in New York City. His father was an Italian American United States Air Force pilot. At age of 9 months, Ellison contracted pneumonia and his mother gave him to her aunt and uncle for adoption who took care of him. That was the last time he was in touch with his biological mother until when he was 48 years old. In 1958, Ellison graduated from Eugene Field Elementary School in Chicago and joined Roger C. Sullivan High School. Concerning religious matters, he did not believe in Judaism even though his adoptive parents who attended synagogue, while also living in Jewish neighborhood. “While I think I am religious in one sense, the particular dogmas of Judaism are not dogmas I subscribe to. I don’t believe that they are real. They’re interesting stories. They’re interesting mythology, and I certainly respect people who believe these are literally true, but I don’t. I see no evidence for this stuff.” Ellison stated at one time.
While at the University of University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, after his second year, Ellison’s adoptive mother died. As a result, Ellison left the university without even taking his final exams. He then encountered computer design while attending University of Chicago, after which he dropped out after one term.
While beginning his career, he joined Amdahl Corporation and worked for it for sometimes, then he quit to join the Ampex Corporation where the database for CIA was one of his projects. That’s the point where Oracle virtually began since he named the database ‘Oracle’. With two partners in 1977, he founded Software Development Laboratories (SDL) whose investment amounted to $ 2,000, consisting of his $ 1000. In 1979 the company changed the name to Relational Software Inc., the later in 1982 it changed to Oracle Systems Corporation.
Ellison was paid a $975,000 salary, a $6,500,000 bonus, and other compensation of $955,100 in 2005. His earning went on rising as in 2007 he earned a total compensation of $61,180,524. When the former CEO of Hewlett-Packard (HP) Mark Hurd, who is Ellison’s close friend, was fired by the HP’s board on August 9, 2010, Ellison termed that as worst mistake. “The HP board just made the worst personnel decision since the idiots on the Apple board fired Steve Jobs many years ago.” Ellison stated. On September 6 same year, Oracle hired Hurd as co-president while Ellison retained his position as the CEO.
In 2010 Ellison was ranked by Forbes as the sixth richest person in the world, and third richest American with an estimated net worth of US $28 billion. Currently he’s still the third richest American, and fifth in the world with an estimated with fortune of $56.2 billion.
Apart from Oracle, NetSuite,Salesforce.com, Astex Pharmaceuticals, Quark Biotechnology Inc. are also associated with Ellison since he has stakes in them. He spent $180 million to purchase 12 properties in Malibu, California in 2004 and 2005. He also in 2012 spent between $500 million and $600 million to buy Hawaiian island of Lana’i among other properties he has acquired. He has also given to charities like Lawrence J. Ellison Musculo-Skeletal Research Center where he donated $ 5 million in 1992, $115 million to Harvard University in 2006. According to Forbes, by the year 2004, Ellison had donated a total of $151,092,103, about 1% of his estimated personal wealth at the time.
Ellison has two children: David and Megan. He’s a divorcee who has been married and divorced four times. He first married Adda Quinn in 1967 and they divorced in 1974. He then married Nancy Wheeler Jenkins in 1977 then they divorced in 1978. In 1983 he married Barbara Boothe, they had two children(David and Megan) then they divorced. He later met Melanie Craft, a romance novelist. He married her in 2003 then they divorced in 2010. His son David Ellison is a film producer at Skydance Productions while Megan is a film producer at Annapurna Pictures.