Larry Ellison

Co-founder of Oracle Corporation


Lawrence Joseph Ellison was born on August 17, 1944 in New York City. At the age of nine months, he got pneumonia. His 19-year-old mother gave him up for adoption to her aunt and uncle to raise in Chicago. He found out that he was adopted at age 12 and he met his mother at age 48.


After high school, at age 18 Ellison enrolled at the University of Illinois, Champaign. At U of I, Ellison was named science student of the year. During his sophomore year, his adopted mother died. This caused him to drop out of collage. The next school year, he applied at the University of Chicago. After one semester, he dropped out. Ellison moved to Berkeley, California with little money. He applied to many jobs and went to collage there. Ellison learned basic computer skills while taking classes at collage and as he applied for jobs. Later on, he became a computer programmer at Amdahl.

The Oracle

At Amdahl, Ellison and his two friends made a database-management program, which they called the Oracle (for their company, CIA). The company had less than ten employees and a revenue of less than one million dollars. Later in 1981, IBM signed to use Oracle. This double the company's sales for seven years. Ellison decided to rename the company after the lead product, Oracle.