Larry Ellison- The Incredible Rags to Riches Story of Co-Founder of Oracle Corporation

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From a college drop-out to a Billion Fortune, Larry Ellison made the most of his life. An American entrepreneur, co-founder and chief executive of Oracle Corporation who stands is the list of richest man in the world and made his place behind Bill Gates and Warren Buffets. His story has many sensitive issues, one is he was an adopted boy and as a child, Larry Ellison’s adoptive father repeatedly told him that he was good for nothing.  This Oracle founder has made millions with his hard work.

Here is his inspiring story.

Early life

Larry Ellison was born to an unmarried mother. Upon the birth, he was handed over to his relatives. Larry Ellison never met his biological father. He was raised on the south side of Chicago. His adoptive father always told him that he was good for nothing.


Ellison did his early schooling at the Eugene Field Elementary School in Chicago. Then he joined High School before moving on to South Shore. Ellison was an intelligent kid but did not take interest to the subjects that were being taught at school. He joined the University of Illinois but didn’t pursue further because of the sudden death of his adoptive mother.

Drop-out Guy

He was dropped out of college twice. First from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, then the University of Chicago – before moving to California and working odd jobs. He was largely self-taught where he picked books and started learning.

Early career

Larry Ellison landed a programming job at Ampex Corporation. One of Ellison’s responsibilities at the company was building a database for the CIA which included creating databases for their systems. Ellison was inspired by the paper written by Edgar F.Codd on relational database systems.

Oracle System Corporation

Larry Ellison approached two partners for starting a company. They named it Software Development Laboratories (SDL) started with an small investment. Later the company was renamed as  ‘Relational Software Inc.’ Slowly they were working on creating databases for  storing and managing data better. Further, they named their company Oracle Systems Corporation.

The big customer

Oracle’s first customer was a big one: the CIA. It later became the most popular database ever sold. That success paid off for Larry Ellison and was the highest paid executive but becoming a billionaire was never his goal.

The Big Dream

Ellison had a big dream. He wanted his company to create a database that could achieve compatibility with the IBM System r database. But IBM refused to share System R’s code with Ellison. But Ellison was determined to take his company to the No.1 spot in selling databases.

Aggressive Sales Strategy

When IBM delayed its entry into the relational database market, Ellison saw the opportunity to dominate the market in the mid-range systems and microcomputers category.  He pushed for an aggressive sales strategy, as a result of which Oracle was now one of the top companies in the world.

Learning from mistakes

What makes Ellison different from others is the business acumen he applied in taking his company from being a start-up to be one of the most popular company in the world. This was also because of his grit in accepting his mistakes and learning from them.


You have to believe in what you do in order to get what you want. Great achievers are driven, not so much by the pursuit of success, but by the fear of failure.

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