Lawrence Joseph ‘Larry’ Ellison is an American billionaire who made his fortune as the chairperson and co-founder of Oracle Corporation, a multinational software company. With an estimated net worth of nearly $52 billion in 2014, Forbes listed him as the 3rd richest in America and the 5 richest person on the planet.
Larry has been the CEO of Oracle right from its inception. On 18th September 2014, he declared that he would step down as the CEO, and either Safra Catz or Mark Hurd would take the position. Ellison will however retain the position of CTO and executive chairman.
The Personal Life of Larry Ellison
Ellison was born on 17th August 1944, in NYC, to an unwed Jewish mother and an Italian-American US Air Force Pilot. He was given away by his mother for adoption to her uncle and aunt when he contracted pneumonia at age 9. He later met his biological mother when he was 48 years old.
Ellison attended the Eugene Field Elementary School and the Roger C. Sullivan High School. Larry has described his adoptive mother as loving and affectionate, while his adoptive father was distant, unsupportive, and austere. He had adopted the name ‘Ellison’ in honor of Ellis Island, his entry point into the US.
Even though Larry was brought up in a Reform Jewish home, he has always been a religious skeptic. He even did not have a bar mitzvah celebration when he turned 13. He likes Israel, but his affection to the country is not related to religion, but to the innovative spirit of the countrymen.
He attended the Urbana–Champaign University of Illinois but left in 2nd year without taking the final exams due to the death of his adoptive mother. He then enrolled into the University of Chicago for a term where he first came into contact with computer designing. He moved to California at age 22, in 1966, and thus began his career.
Larry worked for Amdahl Corporation and Ampex Corporation in the early 70s. During this time he came across a paper called ‘A Relational Model of Data for Large Shared Data Banks,’ written by Edgar F. Codd. This was the inspiration behind him starting a company called ‘Software Development Laboratories,’ in 1977 along with 2 partners. The company was renamed as ‘Oracle Systems Corporation’ in 1982 and the rest is history.
In 2010, Forbes estimated Ellison’s net worth to be $28 billion making him the 3rd richest American and the 6th richest in the world. The same year, The Wall Street Journal declared that at a remuneration of $1.84 billion, Larry was the best paid executive in the world over the last decade.
Ellison is considered as a thorough businessman, a marketing genius, and a playboy who has a penchant for all the finer things in life. He owns a fleet of super cars; has appeared in the Hollywood film Iron Man 2; loves his yachts and private jets as well as sea sailing; is a majority shareholder in the US BNP Paribas Open, a professional lawn tennis tournament; and owns a collection fancy real estates all over the world.
Ellison has been married and divorced 4 times. His was married to his first wife, Adda, for 7 years. His second marriage to Nancy Wheeler lasted 2 years. He then married Barbara Booth, the unwed mother of his son David in 1984. They then had their daughter Megan. However, the couple divorced in 1986. Ellison married romance novelist Melanie Craft in 2003. Their marriage lasted for 7 years.
Larry Ellison – Girlfriend Nikita
Larry Ellison has a girlfriend in the form of Nikita Kahn, a Ukranian-based model who is an active animal rights activist. She was also in a movie called Catch.44. Larry and Nikita hold fund-raising charitable activities where they ask celebrities and influential people to come onboard with them to support causes, that mostly center around environmental protection.
The Yachts, Cars, Jets, and Estates of Larry Ellison
- Ellison owns 2 racing teams and is an avid racer himself. He used to own the 8th biggest yacht in the world called ‘Rising Sun,’ which he sold to David Geffen in 2010. He currently owns 2 yachts, viz., Musashi, a luxurious 288 feet Feadship yacht, and the Sayonara racing yacht, a 180-foot yacht which he raced at the 94th annual race to Mackinac.
- Ellison is a speed fanatic. He owns numerous superfast cars, including a McLaren F1, Audi R8, Lexus LFA, and an Acura NSX.
- Ellison is a licensed pilot and owns numerous aircrafts. His most prized possession is an opulent Gulfstream V business jet. It offers full manual control and is minimally automated. It was bought by Larry for $41 million.
- He also owns a Citation X airplane, the fastest civil aircraft in the world, as well as two military jets, namely, a decommissioned MiG-29 (refused import permission by the US government), and a SIAI-Marchetti S.211, an Italian training aircraft.
- Ellison has a voracious appetite for collecting new luxury estates. He owns a slew of homes in Malibu, especially at Malibu’s Carbon Beach; the spacious Beechwood Mansion at Newport, Rhode Island; the luxurious ‘Porcupine Creek’ property at Rancho Mirage, California, featuring 16 bedrooms and a 19-hole golf course; the picturesque lakefront property near Lake Tahoe; the Turkey Lane Mansion; a fancy mansion at San Francisco; and the Woodside Mansion, Larry’s favorite. He has spent oodles of money to redesign the Woodside mansion like a 16th century Japanese emperor’s countryside home.
- Ellison purchased about 98 percent of the scenic Lanai Island, the 6th biggest island in the state of Hawaii, from David H. Murdock, the owner of Castle & Cooke company. The sale price has been kept a secret, but it is said that the transaction may have been in the range of $500 to $600 million.
Larry Ellison Charitable Causes
Over the years, Ellison has given away millions of dollars to philanthropic causes.
- Larry has made several donations to Stanford University.
- In 1992, he donated $5 million to University of California to start the Lawrence J. Ellison Musculo-skeletal Research Center. He was also instrumental in opening of the Lawrence J. Ellison Ambulatory Care Center at UC Davis Medical Center’s Sacramento campus.
- He pledged half a million US dollars to fortify a community center in Sderot, Israel, in 2007. He has also donated $10 million to the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces.
- Ellison donated $1 million to the American Red Cross Haiti Relief Fund.
- Ellison has been reported as one of the 40 billionaires who has signed the ‘The Giving Pledge’ and vowed to give away nearly 95 percent of his wealth to charity.