Larry Ellison: Technology Titan and Billionaire Philanthropist

Larry Ellison is a prominent American-Jewish businessman, entrepreneur, and philanthropist, best known as the co-founder and chief technology officer of Oracle Corporation, one of the world's largest software companies.

Born on August 17, 1944, in New York City, Ellison's journey from a modest upbringing to becoming one of the wealthiest individuals in the world is a remarkable tale of determination and innovation.

Early Life

Larry Ellison was born to a single Jewish mother named Florence Spellman in New York City. His biological father was an American Air Force pilot. Tragically, Ellison's biological mother gave him up for adoption to her aunt and uncle, Lillian and Louis Ellison, Jewish immigrants from Russia. Ellison did not meet his biological mother until he was 48 years old. He grew up in a two-bedroom apartment in a middle-class neighborhood in Chicago, raised by his adoptive parents.

Ellison displayed exceptional intellect and initiative from a young age. However, his early education was marked by challenges. After his adoptive mother passed away when he was nine months old, he was adopted by his aunt and uncle. He dropped out of the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign after two years of study due to personal reasons.

After spending a summer in Northern California, Ellison returned to his studies at the University of Chicago, where he first encountered computer programming. At the age of 20, he left Chicago for good, heading to Northern California to pursue a career in technology.


In the 1970s, after leaving his studies, Ellison worked as a programmer at Ampex Corporation, where his task was to develop a database system for the CIA called "Oracle." Inspired by an article written by Edgar F. Codd about relational database systems, Ellison founded Software Development Laboratories (SDL) in 1977. In 1979, he changed the company's name to Relational Software Inc, later renamed Oracle Corporation.

Under Ellison's leadership, Oracle became a global technology giant, known for its database management systems and enterprise software solutions. His visionary approach and relentless pursuit of excellence propelled Oracle to the forefront of the technology industry.

As of December 2021, Forbes estimated Larry Ellison's personal fortune at over $136 billion, ranking him among the richest people on the planet.

Personal Life

Ellison's personal life has been marked by several marriages, with his fourth marriage ending in 2010. Despite his success, he has faced challenges and controversies, including legal disputes and public scrutiny. However, his contributions to the technology industry and philanthropic efforts have left an indelible mark on the world.

Sailing and Racing

Larry Ellison is also an accomplished sailor and owns Oracle Team USA, a sailing team that has competed in the America's Cup, one of the world's most prestigious sailing competitions. Oracle Team USA, with the support of the BMW Oracle Racing team, won the America's Cup in 2010 and successfully defended it in 2013.

Ellison's love for sailing extends beyond the America's Cup. He has competed in various yacht races, including the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race. His luxury yacht, "Sayonara," has been a fixture in the world of sailing and racing.

In addition to his sailing pursuits, Ellison has been involved in automobile racing and has sponsored racing events, showcasing his passion for speed and competition.


Larry Ellison holds a pilot's license and has owned multiple aircraft in the past. He is known for performing nighttime takeoffs and landings at San Jose Mineta International Airport.

Real Estate

Ellison's real estate portfolio includes a stunning Japanese-inspired estate in California, valued at around $20 million. Situated on 180 acres in Woodside, California, this property showcases his affinity for Japanese architecture and design. Additionally, in 2012, Ellison purchased 98% of Lanai, the sixth-largest Hawaiian island, adding to his impressive real estate holdings.

Larry Ellison's journey from a challenging upbringing to becoming a technology titan, sailing enthusiast, and philanthropist is a testament to his determination and relentless pursuit of excellence. His impact on the technology industry and beyond continues to be felt worldwide.

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