Oracle CEO Larry Ellison likes to fly fighter jets and launch America’s Cup sailboat racing campaigns. He’s also a technology pioneer, and with a net worth estimated at over $40 billion, one of the wealthiest people in the United States. Because Oracle is not a consumer-facing company, Ellison, 68, may not be as familiar to many Americans as other CEOs on the list. But Oracle is a giant of the software industry, with sales of nearly $40 billion over the last year.
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A native of New York City, Ellison grew up in Chicago and moved to California in the late 1960s. He would later become a close friend of the late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. Ellison’s expensive life-style is well-documented. Ellison owns hundreds of millions of dollars of real estate around the country, including 98% of Lanai, Hawaii’s sixth largest island. In 2010, Ellison sold his gargantuan 453-foot yacht Rising Sun (the basketball court on the main deck doubles as a helicopter landing pad) to the music mogul David Geffen. Ellison also appeared briefly in the film Iron Man 2.