Born in the Bronx, Larry Ellison had a difficult childhood. Her mother was only 19 years old and single, so she gave Larry to her uncle and aunt to raise her. Moved to Chicago, Ellison grew up in a small two-bedroom apartment. He discovered that he was adopted when he was 12 years old. Around this time, his adoptive father lost his business due to depression and began working as an auditor. Rebel and independent, Larry Ellison showed an aptitude for science.
After leaving the University of Illinois, he transferred to the University of Chicago before leaving a semester later. This constant change of schools made his adoptive father believe that Larry would never learn anything with his life. Instead, Ellison began to learn about computer programming. After saving enough money for gas, Ellison decided to move to Berkeley, California. He changed jobs frequently for eight years before working on a mainframe system with Amdahl Corporation.
In 1977, Ellison decided to start a company with his co-workers, Ed Oates, and Robert Miner. They called their new business, Software Development Labs. After reading an article on a structured query language, Larry began working on a series of new projects. His company was hired by the CIA to build Oracle. They completed the project a year earlier and used the remaining time to solve commercial applications. This relational database management system (RDBMS) was also called Oracle. By 1981, IBM decided to adopt Oracle and Oracle sales doubled. Over the next seven years, sales doubled annually. This success with Oracle led Ellison to rename the Oracle Company.
In 1986, Oracle was finally made public. The initial public offering served to raise $ 31.5 million. For 1990, the company reported its first losses due to years of exaggerated income. This caused market capitalization to fall by 80 percent and pushed Oracle to the brink of bankruptcy. To keep the company solvent, Ellison laid off high-level employees and brought in more experienced managers. Larry Ellison used this change as an opportunity to get away from management and focus more on product development. Oracle 7 was launched in 1992 and the company’s fortune began to improve.
Throughout the 1990s, a variety of financial institutions, retail businesses, and automotive companies turned to Oracle for database programs. Because of this, Ellison was encouraged to find business applications for Oracle online. As e-commerce sites grew, net profits increased. In a quarter of 2000, earnings increased by 76 percent. This caused Larry Ellison to surpass Bill Gates as the richest man in the world at that time. As of 2004, Ellison worked to increase Oracle’s market share by acquiring a variety of other companies. After buying Sun Microsystems in 2009, Oracle became the largest software company in the world. Larry Ellison served as president of Oracle from 1978 to 1996 and for brief periods as chairman of the Board. Since the beginning of Oracle, Ellison has been the sole CEO of the company.