Happy Birthday Larry Ellison: From Rags To Ultra Rich Co-founder

larry ellison

From rags to riches the ride of the entrepreneur to rank #2 richest on the Tech list of 2015 (Forbes) is amazing. Though been a college drop out twice and never knew computers from childhood establishing a huge software firm Oracle Corporation (NYSE:ORCL) is a triumph. On the 71st birth anniversary of Lawrence Joseph “Larry” Ellison here are some interesting yet less known facts about him to grace the occasion.

Date of Birth: August 17, 1944

Net Worth:  $49.5 Billion

1. He was dropped out of College twice initially from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, then the University of Chicago and then set to California in search of some odd jobs. Being a founder of giant database software firm he never had been to computer classes yet working as a programmer made him self-taught by referring few books. Prior leaving the University of Illinois and his adopted mother’s death he was named Science Student of the Year in the University.

2. Started working with Ampex in the 1970s and surprisingly a research paper on relational databases by Ted Codd from IBM served as a trigger point. He along with his two colleagues Ed Oates and Bob Miner developed a new relational database management system called SQL. The first commercial suite of SQL products were named Oracle 2 and it was released in 1979.

3. Software Development Laboratories 1977 with an investment of $1200 and successfully wins the contract of building database to CIA for two years and the project was named “Oracle.” In 1979 the company was called Relational Software Inc and finally, in 1982 it became Oracle Systems Corporation.

4. With IBM starting off development of SQL, it was threatening for the newcomer Oracle. However, IBM developed SQL software for its own mainframe computers but ignored the emerging market trend of relational database management systems. Most of the firms opted for the relational database management system owing to its feasibility with microcomputers. Oracle along with a couple of ne comers including Informix and Sybase focused on the need of the hour and filled in the void.

5. Today being a leader among the software companies Oracle Corporation in the 1990s, it had been bankrupt soon after going public in 1986 following a triumphant success of seven years after initiation. Oracle’s market valuation fell by four-fifth of its value owing to company’s “up-front” marketing strategy.

6. Oracle-7 had been the huge success contributing its services across numerous sectors as banks, airlines, retailers, and carmakers. With the emergence of Microsoft SQL Server in the late 1990s and acquisition of Informix by IBM in 2001 the race took a new form altogether. However, Oracle flourished with huge success.

7. The Academy of Achievement the museum of Living History in Washington inducted Ellison in the year 1997. Though he had never met his biological father he was brought up by his adopted parents and never enjoyed good relationship with his adopted father.

8. Apart from being a successful entrepreneur Ellison reveals that the purpose of starting Oracle was to create a work environment where one can enjoy working and not to become rich and certainly not this rich he is today and in his words it seems “Surreal.” Before he stepped down as CEO in 2014 of Oracle Corporation he was the highest paid executive in the US. Now he serves Oracle as Executive Chairman and Chief Technical officer.

9. Larry Ellison has been a sailing fanatic in 2013, his Oracle team USA won the America’s cup defeating the Emirates Team New Zealand. He usually loves purchasing luxury cars, yachts, and mansions. Some of the exotic cars he own includes McLaren F1 and Audi R8. He has largest yachts on the planet until he sold the Rising Sun to David Geffen in 2010.

10. He is one among the billionaires to sign The Giving Pledge devoting at least half of his affluence towards philanthropy. In 1998, The Lawrence J. Ellison Ambulatory Care Centre was started following his donation of $5 million to Lawrence J. Ellison Musculo-Skeletal Research Centre that took birth when Dr. Michael W. Chapman a highly skilled orthopedic surgeon treated him to set right his elbow affected from high-speed bicycle crash.

Proving the words of his adoptive father “Good for nothing “wrong in his case and making to the list of few people who leave their mark on the planet the deeds of Ellison is been outstanding. In his words, he portrays his life as “I have had all of the disadvantages required for success.” He and his path stand out to be an inspiration for the budding entrepreneurs.


The article is a part of the B’day Series where we celebrate the birthday of renowned personalities from across Industries, very frequently. The series includes Entrepreneurs, C-level Executives, innovators or a renewed leaders who moved the industry with his exponential skill set and vision. The intent is to highlight the person’s achievements and touch base the little known, but interesting, part of his life. You can see the list of all earlier celebrated tech personalities, including Mark Zuckerberg, Marissa Mayer, Sean Parker, Andy Rubin, Julian Assange, by following this link or subscribe to your daily newsletter.

To make it more exciting, we suggest you to make use of the comment section if you are among the ones celebrating their birthday with today’s featured personality.

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