Oracle founder and former CEO Larry Ellison was born in New York City but grew up in a lower-middle-class community on the South Side of Chicago.
"I'll never complain again about living in a bad neighborhood, after moving from the Lower East Side of Manhattan to a still-worse neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago," said Ellison in an interview posted on the Academy of Achievement website. "After my ninth month, I kept my mouth shut about the neighborhood."
A 1997 Vanity Fair profile on Ellison described his childhood home as a "cramped walk-up apartment." According to the article, Ellison was raised by his great-aunt and great-uncle, who was once successful in real estate but lost everything in the Depression.
Although he came from modest beginnings, Ellison is now a multibillionaire worth $61.8 billion. And Oracle has a market value of almost $183 billion, reports Forbes.
"Everyone who works hard, and maybe a little cleverly, has the opportunity to make almost anything possible," said Ellison in the Academy of Achievement interview. "That's the American Dream, that anything here is possible."
Ellison might be a college dropout, but like many billionaires, he has career advice to share.