Born in the Lower East Side of Manhattan in New York City in 1944, Ellison spent most of his formative years in the Chicago ‘South Shore’ area and attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and University of Chicago although he failed to graduate.
It was during a stint at the University of Chicago that Ellison was first introduced to computer design, eventually working for the Ampex Corporation where he helped develop a CIA database known as “Oracle.”
After founding a company of the same name, Ellison rose steadily in the database industry. His extended battle with CEO of rival company Informix, Phil White, has become the stuff of legends in Silicon Valley.
Since then, Ellison has steadily increased in wealth. His net worth eventually placed him on the List of Billionaires, and he has been a perennial member of the top tier of the wealthiest Americans ever since. In 2014, he was listed by Forbes as the third-wealthiest man in America and as the fifth-wealthiest person in the world, with a fortune of $56.2 billion.