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Larry Ellison
0 yrs Ellison was born on August 17, in New York City to Florence Spellman, a 19-year-old unwed mother who later placed her nine-month old son for adoption to her distant relatives. 1944
  Lillian and Louis Ellison took him into their home, a two-bedroom apartment located in a modest lower middle class Jewish neighborhood in South Chicago.  
  At South Shore High School, he was a bright but inattentive student.  
15 yrs He began a long-term relationship that lasted for five years and ended sorely – depending on whom is asked, he unsuccessfully proposed marriage either once or twice. 1959
  He lasted until the end of his sophomore year at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign but dropped out following Lillian's death.  
  After a summer in Northern California, he returned home to study at the University of Chicago but left after one quarter. Ending his attempts to finish college, he set out for California.  
  During the 1970s, Ellison worked for the Ampex Corporation. One of his projects was a database for the CIA, which he named "Oracle".  
33 yrs He founded Oracle, putting up $2000 of his own money, under the name Software Development Laboratories (or SDL). 1977
35 yrs The company was renamed Relational Software Inc., later to be renamed Oracle after the flagship product Oracle database. 1979
  He had heard about the IBM System R database, also based on Codd's theories, and wanted Oracle to be compatible with it, but IBM stopped this by keeping the error codes for their DBMS secret. The initial release of Oracle was Oracle 2, even though there was no Oracle 1. The release number was intended to imply that all of the bugs had been worked out of an earlier version.  
46 yrs Oracle laid off 10 percent of the work force because of the mismatch between cash and revenues. The crisis which almost caused Oracle's bankruptcy came about because of the tactics used by Oracle's sales force. The salespeople subscribed to an "up-front" sales strategy, in which they tried to incent customers to buy the biggest amounts of software all at once. However, the customers were delivered software that didn't work and promised "vapor ware" that didn't exist. Oracle had to restate earnings twice due to these tactics and the company would later settle class-action lawsuits that had been filed because of its flawed financial statements. Larry Ellison would later say his company made "an incredible business mistake." 1990
50 yrs Informix Software overtook Sybase and became the number one challenger to Oracle. The intense war between Informix CEO Phil White and Larry Ellison was front page Silicon Valley news for three years. Ultimately, Oracle would defeat Informix in 1997. 1994
  Once Informix and Sybase were defeated, Oracle enjoyed years of industry dominance until the rise of Microsoft's SQL Server in the late 90s and IBM's acquisition of Informix Software in 2000 to complement their DB2 database.  
59 yrs At his Woodside estate, Ellison married Melanie Craft, a romance novelist, on 18 December. At the wedding, his friend, Apple CEO Steve Jobs, was the official photographer. Craft is Ellison's fourth wife. He has a son and a daughter by a previous wife. 2003
61 yrs Ellison is reported to be one of the richest people in America by Forbes. Forbes reported that Ellison has a net worth of around $18.4 billion, making him the ninth richest man in the world. 2005
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