The 10 Most Outrageous Stories About Larry Ellison

Larry Ellison

Photo: AP

Larry Ellison isn’t just another billionaire.He is the stuff of legend, of movies and romance novels.

At 67, Ellison is the fifth richest person on the planet with a net worth of $33 billion, Forbes says.

No one enjoys money like Larry. He collects real estate, cars, aeroplanes, yachts. As a self-made man that came from modest beginnings, he has also developed an ego the size of his fortune.

Besides spending unfathomable amounts of money acquiring stuff, Ellison says and does so many outrageous things, that satirical stories about him have been widely reported as true and true stories about him have been widely reported as false.

We’ve collected 10 of the most outrageous stories about him … some true, some not.

True or false? Larry Ellison frequently spends past his billion dollar credit limit

True, at least as of 2002.

As part of a shareholder lawsuit, a judge unsealed e-mails between Ellison and his personal financial advisor, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. In them, the advisor chided Ellison for his spending habits. Ellison regularly pushed his credit limit of more than a billion dollars to its max in buying yachts and homes, the e-mails said.

A billion-dollars on credit … who knew?

True or false? He once paid $40 million for the next-door mansion so he could cut down its trees

False. But Ellison did sue his neighbours in Pacific Heights over their trees.

As the neighbours trees grew, they began to block his sweeping view. At one point he did offer to buy the house -- for $15 million (about double what they paid for it), the Wall Street Journal reported. The neighbours, millionaires themselves, refused. The two eventually settled out of court and reports circulated that Ellison bought the house for $40 million.

Ellison, through his tree lawyer, denied it.

'No one has ever offered to sell me the house next-door for $40 million or any other price,

True or false? Ellison traded Oracle software for a couple of Israeli jets

True or false? Ellison snooped through Microsoft's garbage

True, sort of. It wasn't actually Ellison's hands that went through the garbage and the trash wasn't technically Microsoft's.

Oracle hired private investigators to sift through the trash of a research group Oracle suspected of being funded by Microsoft during that company's antitrust trial.

'It's absolutely true we set out to expose Microsoft's covert activities,' he said at a press conference. 'I feel very good about what we did.… Maybe our investigation organisation may have done things unsavory, but it's not illegal. We got the truth out.'

True or false? He once flew a jet under the Golden Gate Bridge

False (maybe). Ellison denied the story during an interview with Charlie Rose.

He noted that to fly a plane under the Golden Gate bridge was illegal and that means, naturally, he wouldn't have done it. But his tone was tongue-in-cheek. Ellison loves outrageous stories about himself and his public denial didn't do much to squash this one. (Listen for yourself at 1:12 on this video of the interview.)

True or false? The co-founder of SAP mooned Ellison on the high seas

True or false? Ellison, a college drop out, called Yale graduates 'losers'

True or false? Ellison has twice tried, and twice failed, to buy an NBA team

True. He tried to buy the New Orleans Hornets and was turned down. The Hornets were instead bought by the NBA.

One unclear point is if he was planning on bringing the Hornets to San Jose. The San Jose Mercury News published a statement from Ellison denying plans to move the team (that story has since disappeared from the site). But former owner George Shin told that he refused Ellison's higher offer because he knew Ellison wanted to move the team to California.

Ellison also tried to buy the Golden Gate Warriors, too, but lost that bid, too. This even though the Warriors play at Oracle Arena and Ellison is often seen at Warriors games.

Sadly, basketball fan Ellison still doesn't own his own team, only a stadium.

True or false? Ellison signs his checks with a green pen because it's the colour of money

Unclear. When asked to confirm this, Ellison merely quipped that green has always been his favourite colour, having nothing to do with money.

But, if you receive a check from Ellison in green ink, it's a good idea to cash it.

True or false? Ellison once bought a San Francisco house on the spot, in the middle of the night.

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