Larry Ellison Oracle Founder and starting of the company

Larry Elison Founder of Oracle
Larry Elison Founder of Oracle

Larry Elison Founder of Oracle

Firstly, Lawrence Joseph Ellison often called Larry Ellison. He is the Founder of Oracle Corporation. In addition, he was a famous college dropout, who created Oracle. Similarly, Oracle is one of the most popular and valuable tech brands in the world. The company mainly focuses on database technology and business application software. In 2015, Ellison said that Oracle would extend its cloud computing business in all over the world. At present, Larry Ellison works as an executive chairman and chief technology officer of Oracle. And also he stepped down as CEO in September 2014. Lastly, Forbes enlisted him as the 5th richest person in the world. And he was the 3rd richest person in the United States of America. 

Larry Elison Early Life

Lawrence Joseph called “Larry Ellison” was born on August 17, 1944, in New York City. After that, his mother, Florence Spellman, an immigrant from Odessa, was only 19. And she was not ready for a child. When he was just a nine-month-old, he sent it to his uncle and aunt. Larry Elison never saw his father, who was a United States Army Air Corps pilot. Moreover, he did not know more about his childhood. 

His mother’s sister Lillian Spellman Ellison and her husband, Louis Ellison who resides in a Jewish district in Chicago. They both adopted Larry Ellison. 

It was an ordinary family with the mother being kind, caring and loving. And the father was very strict, stubborn and exacting. Larry grew up independent, self-assured and uncompromising. These qualities led to constant quarrels and misunderstandings with his stepfather.

Even at school, Larry Ellison was an extraordinary person. But his interesting subjects were spaceship construction, high technology, and engineering. In addition, he was a mediocre student with sometimes a complex character. And also he enjoyed sports activity and played squash, volleyball, and hockey.

After completing graduation from South Shore High School at Urbana-Champaign, Larry Elison went to the University of Illinois in the 1960s. These were the first happy moments of his entire life. The university curriculum came quickly to him, giving the experience of independence and power. But after the death of his adoptive mother, he could not pass final exams and dropped out of the University. After a year, he went to the University of Chicago in order to pursue a degree in physics and mathematics. However, he lost his interest in education and dropped out of university after completion of just one semester.

In 1966, he went to California at the age of 22.

Larry Ellison was living on the margin of poverty. Larry Ellison showed his interest in the search for fields like computers and programming. He used to spend almost all his time. In order to gain some knowledge in programming, he was reading the specialized literature. He soon initiated visiting different interest clubs and attending specific events, which admitted people like him. However, Larry stood out of the crowd thanks to his ability to learn so fast.


In 1966, at the early age of 22, Larry Ellison moved to Northern California. In 1970, Ellison started to work in Ampex Corporation. At that place, he got an opportunity to work on a project for a CIA. And he created a database of their project. At there, Ellison got inspirations by the document written by Edgar F.Codd on a relational database system. In 1977, He and his two partners started a company and named it Software Development Laboratories with investments of $2000. In 1979, they changed the company’s name Relational Software Inc.

After that, they started working on similar & creative databases. 

At last, in 1982, they gave the company name officially “Oracle Systems Corporation”. Later than their main product was “Oracle Database”. Larry required Oracle to get compatibility with the IBM system or database. After that, IBM refused to share the system’s or’s code with Oracle. 

In the early days, Oracle released Oracle 2 versions, but there was no Oracle 1. Ellison sees the opportunity to dominate the market in the mid-range system and microcomputers group. At that time, IBM delayed its way into the relational database market. Ellison pushed for an aggressive sales strategy. As a result, Oracle is one of the top companies in the world. After that, in 1997, Ellison competed with the director of Apple Computers. In addition, in 2009, he made around $52 million. Ellison is regarded as the fifth richest person in the world. In addition, he is the third richest person in the U.S with the net worth $55.2 billion.

The Beginnings of an Empire

Firstly, he got inspirations from IBM paper of famous researcher Edgar F. Codd on a new programming language called SQL. Secondly, Ellison started his work on SQL into a database system. According to Ellison, the CIA was one of their first-person, making Ellison and his team create this new database. After that, the project code-name was Oracle. And, he worked with Robert Miner and Ed Oates, who were his Amdahl colleagues. After that, he established Software Development Labs in 1977. Lastly, in 1979, they renamed the firm called Relational Software.

Oracle Systems Corporation

In 1979, SDL renamed into Relational Software Inc., and in 1982 officially became Oracle Systems Corporation. After its flagship product, the Oracle RDBMS, It was an object-relational database management system. After that, the first release of Oracle RDBMS issued under v2.0. There was no Oracle v1.0 as Ellison was sure that no one would buy version 1.

According to Larry Ellison, the Oracle RDBMS could do unbelievable things at that time: 

  • to sort the best performing supermarkets from the whole supermarket chain 
  • or to sort and filter bestseller goods and products. 

Oracle RDBMS was able to process a vast amount of data, which became very alluring for government and big business. There were only eight employees including three co-founders. The co-founders are Larry Ellison, Bob Miner, and Ed Oates and the company revenue reaches less than $1 million.

Starting from 1974, IBM Corporation was also working on the database products based on Codd’s theories. It’s location is at IBM’s San Jose Research Laboratory. They developed IBM System R, and Ellison wanted Oracle products. However, IBM executives refused to share System R’s code.

By 1982, the revenue of Oracle reached $2.5 million with 75 micro- and mini- clients on board. Larry Ellison invested 25 percent of the revenue into R&D during 1982. So, he can develop a commercially available and portable Oracle RDBMS, based on the C programming language compiler. Oracle’s contracts with government agencies provided enough funds to let their team focus on the commercially viable products. That would help them to occupy some market share from IBM and other IT companies of those times.

In 1983, Oracle RDBMS of v.3 became commercially accessible. And it installs on all types of operating systems such as mainframes, workstations, personal computers, microcomputers, etc. Ellison was right, and Oracle’s investments pay off by doubling the company’s revenue to $5 million. In 1985, the company’s revenue sales reached $23 million. And in 1986, the revenue sales reached $55 million. Oracle aimed at leading clients like government agencies and international companies in fields of automotive, aerospace, pharmaceutical, and manufacture industries.

Oracle Today

In 2013, Oracle published the latest version of RDBMS, Oracle 12c. By 2015, the company reported a net income of almost $10 billion. Its main business segment remains software solutions. But they began manufacturing hardware after acquiring Sun Microsystems in 2010.

Ellison threw his weight behind cloud computing and described the cloud as “a much better business for us”. He was a key player in developing cloud Software as a System (SaaS) delivery method. 

Oracle also called one of the global leaders in IT integrated platform systems. It is available in the top 20 most valuable brands in the world, with an estimated brand value of $26 billion. It’s also one of the world’s top 30 largest companies by market value.

Oracle’s Crisis

In 1990, Oracle faced its first crisis and finished the year with a negative net income and started losing money. The market value of the company reduced by 80%. And it seemed as if the company was on the brink of bankruptcy. In the same year, Oracle freed 10% of its employees, about 400 people. The main reason behind the crisis was due to the aggressive marketing strategy. The sales team urged prospective clients to purchase possible Oracle software by booking the value of future license sales. As a result, such actions increased their bonuses. But when the scheduled sales failed to materialize afterward, this became a big issue. 

Being a public company, Oracle bears with additional costs which resolves class-action lawsuits from shareholders regarding its earnings. As a result, the company had to pay $24 million to its shareholders.

In 1990s, IBM had the biggest share in mainframe relational database market with database products like DB2 and SQL/DS. While there are competitors such as Sybase, Oracle, Informix, and Microsoft. They used opportunity to occupy niche for relational database on UNIX and Windows and dominate mid-range systems and microcomputers.

From 1990 to 1993, Sybase, one of the fastest-growing company, and Oracle just left behind. But after three years of biggest sales and significant mergers, Sybase sold all rights of its software to Microsoft Corporation. And it now positions its software under the name called “SQL Server.” 

The database competition was existing between Informix CEO Phil White and Oracle CEO Larry Ellison. They made headlines of Silicon Valley news for three years till 1997. At that time, Informix confirmed significant earnings restatements and profit shortfall. Phil White put into prison for such corporate fraud activity. And IBM absorbed Informix in 2001 (Sybase programmers and code completed IBM’s DB2 software).

In 1997, Larry Ellison was also in Apple Computer’s Board of Directors after Steve Jobs. Ellison served as director of Apple Computer for five years, and on September 20, 2002, he resigned from this position.


On March, 1986, Oracle Systems Corporation started IPO on the NASDAQ stock exchange with initial cost per share of $15. After a while, that raised to $20.75 by selling 2.1 million shares and raising $31.5 million.

After IPO, Larry Ellison started marketing subsidiaries in 17 countries in order to trade Oracle’s products in 35 countries. Soon Oracle identified SQL Star software that could process and retrieve data stored across the network’s computer systems.

America’s Cup

When Larry Ellison is not busy supporting his software empire, Ellison races yachts. His yacht Rising Sun is over 450 feet long. It is one of the largest privately-owned vessels in the world. And in 2010 he joined the BMW Oracle Racing team and won the prestigious America’s Cup. The victory purchased the cup to the United States for the first time in 15 years.  The win again repeated in 2013 by the team. 

Larry Ellison Yacht


In 2010, Larry Ellison left his ownership of the 12th largest yacht in the world, called Rising Sun. He left and sold out his remaining shares in the yacht to music and film mogul David Geffen. Rising Sun is 453 feet (138 meters) long, and builds cost over $200 million. He downsized to Musashi, a 288-foot (88-meter) yacht built by Feadship. 


Larry Ellison, a licensed pilot who owned various numbers of aircraft. He located in the city of San Jose, California. In January 2000, Ellison sued over the interpretation of the airport rule, contending that his Gulfstream V aircraft “. It got certification by the manufacturer to fly at two weights. They are 75,000 pounds, and at 90,000 pounds for heavier loads or long flights requiring more fuel. US District Judge Jeremy Fogel ruled in Ellison’s favor. In June 2001, he was calling for a waiver for Ellison’s jet but did not invalidate the curfew.

Larry Ellison also has at least two military jets: an SIAI-Marchetti S.211. It is a training aircraft designed in Italy. And another is a decommission MiG-29, which the US government refuses his permission to import.


In 2009, Larry Ellison bought the Indian Wells Tennis Garden tennis facility in California’s Coachella Valley. And he purchased the Indian Wells Masters tournament.

Private Island: Lanai

In 2012, Larry Ellison made an agreement in order to buy 98% of Lanai for $300 million. Lanai is one of the eight main islands of Hawaii. And he received over 88,000 acres (137.50 square miles) of island land. The island previously belonged to another billionaire, David Murdock.

The island also consists of Lodge at Koele. It has two championship golf courses and clubhouses, the Koele Golf Course and the Manele Golf Course. It also consists of the Four Seasons Resorts Lanai at Manele Bay and the Four Seasons Resorts Lanai.

Larry Ellison developed the island’s infrastructure. He increased the production of fruit and vegetables for sale across the ocean. Also, he will also extend the project connected with renewable energy and turning salt water into drinking water.

Personal Life 

Ellison married and got divorce for four times:

  • First, Adda Quinn from 1967 to 1974.
  • Secondly, Nancy Wheeler Jenkins from 1977 to 1978. They married six months before the foundation of Software Development Laboratories. In 1978, the couple divorced. Wheeler left him by claiming on her husband’s company for $500.
  • After that, Barbara Boothe from 1983 to 1986 who was a former receptionist at Relational Software Inc. (RSI). They have two children, David and Megan. Their children are the film producers at Skydance Media and Annapurna Pictures.
  • Next, Melanie Craft who was a romance novelist, from 2003 to 2010. They married on December 18, 2003, at his Woodside estate. Ellison’s friend Steve Jobs, former CEO and co-founder of Apple Inc., was the official wedding photographer. They left each other in 2010.
  • Next, Larry Ellison created a brief cameo appearance in the 2010 movie Iron Man 2. In 2010, Ellison bought a 50% share of the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament. Ellison posses many exotic cars, including an Audi R8 and a McLaren F1. His favorite one is the Acura NSX, which he gives as a gift each year during its production. 
  • After that, Larry Ellison is also the owner of a Lexus LFA.


Larry Ellison created a name for himself for his love and interests of cars, private jets, and yachts. He has his own America’s Cup sailing team and he possesses the BNP Paribas Tennis Open. He has a host of million-dollar properties around the world, including a $70 million house in Silicon Valley.


In 2010, Larry Ellison signed The Giving Pledge, which is an invitation to America’s wealthiest. He donated the majority of their wealth to philanthropic causes during their lifetime or after their death.

Larry Ellison established the Ellison Medical Foundation, which is one of the largest supporters of research on aging. In 2013, the foundation changed to The Lawrence Ellison Foundation. Its main objective is to support education, global health and development, and wildlife conservation.

Awards and Achievements:

  • In 1994, Larry Ellison achieved the award of the Science Application International Corporation Information Technology Leadership.
  • In 1990, He also received the Entrepreneur of the year award.

Unknown Facts:

  • In 1997, He was the director of Apple Computers. But he left in September 2002 due to lack of quality time to attend the board meetings.
  • Larry Ellison is also a licensed pilot. He possessed some aircraft and military jets including SIAI-Marchetti S.211 and Mikoyan Mig-29.
  • Larry purchased “Indian Wells Tennis Garden” in 2009.
  • He built a little role in the movie Iron Man 2, in 2010.
  • On September 14, 2014, Larry quit the job of CEO of the Oracle and became an executive Chairman of the STO.

Some Important Questions to Discuss 

1.How did Larry Ellison start Oracle?

In the starting year of the 1970s, Larry Ellison worked for an electronics company Amtex. Antex established by Alexander M. Poniatoff in 1944 that was facing stiff competition with the Sony Corporation. At Amtex, he mostly used to work on a database for the CIA, which he later on called “Oracle.”

2.What is Oracle’s main product?

The company aims primarily in developing and marketing database software and technology, cloud engineered systems, and enterprise software products. These all are particularly its own brands of database management systems. In 2015, Oracle is the second-largest software maker by revenue, after Microsoft.

3.Why did Thomas Kurian leave Oracle?

Oracle announced on September 5 that Kurian was taking leave of absence from company where he  worked for 22 years. Kurian wanted Oracle to make software available in order to run on public clouds from competitors like Amazon and Microsoft.

4.How did Larry Ellison become a billionaire?

Harvard Business School called him as the Entrepreneur of the Year in 1990. He created headlines when he bought a $194 million yacht. And he spent $80 million in order to capture the America’s Cup.

5.Who is the founder of Oracle?

  • Larry Ellison
  • Bob Miner
  • Ed Oates

6.Is Oracle better than SAP?

Oracle’s serve much more than SAP. However, in some aspects such as Customer Support, etc, SAP definitely scores more than the Oracle. SAP received a better ERP than Oracle. Oracle Database and Financial Service applications are better and more diverse than those of SAP.

7.Is Oracle an ERP?

Oracle is one of the world’s famous enterprise software companies. Their core applications consist of customer relationship management (CRM), and enterprise resource planning (ERP). And it also consists of financial management, human capital management, supply chain management, and transportation management.

8.Are SAP and Oracle competitors?

There are almost 10 competitors in SAP. They are- Microsoft, IBM, Oracle, Salesforce, Adobe, VMware, Workday, ServiceNow, Symantec, and Tableau. Working together they increased over 6.0B with the help of 765.1K employees. SAP has 84,183 employees. And it acquires the position of 4th among its top 10 competitors.

9.Who is the youngest billionaire?

Kylie Jenner is one of the world’s youngest billionaire, as per list of Forbes billionaires. The youngest Kardashian family member is trying to make her fortune from her best-selling cosmetics business.

10.Who created SAP?

  • Dietmar Hopp
  • Hasso Plattner
  • Klaus Tschira
  • Claus Wellenreuther
  • Hans-Werner Hector


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