PALM BEACH, Fla. – Billionaire Larry Ellison, who was recently ranked by Forbes as the world’s eighth-richest person, dropped $173 million of his fortune to buy a Florida compound in Manalapan, a wealthy town south of Palm Beach. The transaction marks the largest residential sale ever in Florida.
Ellison bought the ocean-to-lake estate – and part of nearby Bird Island – from a trust controlled by a fellow software billionaire, Jim Clark. In all, the estate and its island measure more than 22 acres.
Ellison used a limited liability company to buy the estate in Manalapan, according to the Palm Beach Daily News, part of the USA TODAY Network.
The land has been in the hands of the extremely wealthy for years. Clark purchased the property in 2021 from the billionaire Ziff family, which made its fortune in publishing and investments.
Historically known as Gemini, the estate is bisected by a coastal road. The two sections of the main house – one facing the lake and the other, the ocean – are linked by a series of tunnels beneath the street, including one that serves as a foyer and art gallery.
With dense vegetation, the property has about 1,200 feet of beach frontage and about 1,300 feet of waterfront on the irregularly shaped side facing the Intracoastal Waterway.
Together, the main residence and several outbuildings offer nearly 85,000 square feet of living space, inside and out, with 33 bedrooms, 34 bathrooms and 13 powder rooms.
The park-like estate includes a PGA-standard golf practice area, a regulation tennis court, a half basketball court, a freshwater pond, an 18-hole miniature golf course, a boat dock, a bird sanctuary and a butterfly garden. All of the those items were in place when Clark’s trust bought the property.
So who is Larry Ellison? Here’s a look at the billionaire.
How rich is Larry Ellison?
On June 22, the day the deed recorded for the Florida sale, Forbes estimated the 77-year-old’s net worth at $93.6 billion.
How did Larry Ellison get his fortune?
Ellison co-founded Oracle Corp. with two partners in Santa Clara, California, in 1977. Today, the software powerhouse bills itself as the world’s largest database-management company. Ellison spent 37 years as CEO and still holds the titles of chairman and chief technology officer at the company, which is headquartered in Austin, Texas. His ownership stake in the company is about 35 percent, according to Forbes.
Larry Ellison’s ties to Tesla
Among Ellison’s most well-publicized stock purchases, he invested heavily in his billionaire friend Elon Musk’s Tesla and joined the company’s board in 2018. This month, Tesla reported that Ellison would be stepping down from the board.
Did Larry Ellison go to college?
Yes, but he didn’t graduate. He dropped out of the University of Chicago and the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, according to Bloomberg and other published reports.
Where’s Larry Ellison from and where does he live?
A native New Yorker from The Bronx, Ellison has lived in the Chicago area and California. But he has said his primary home is on the island of Lanai in Hawaii. He reportedly paid $300 million for almost all of that island 10 years ago. He has also bought homes in Newport, Rhode Island, and California.
Larry Ellison’s politics: Report ties him to post-election strategy call with Trump
On May 20, The Washington Post and other outlets reported that Ellison, who has supported former President Donald Trump and conservative causes, took part in a call on Nov. 14, 2020, with Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and others “that focused on strategies for contesting the legitimacy of the vote” in the Nov. 3, 2020, presidential elections. The Post cited court documents and “a participant” as sources.
The call, the Post reported, is “the first known example of a technology industry titan joining powerful figures in conservative politics, media and law to strategize about Trump’s post-loss options.”
Others on the call included Fox News host Sean Hannity, Trump attorney Jay Sekulow and attorney James Bopp Jr., who represented True the Vote, a nonprofit group that has “promoted disputed claims of widespread voter fraud,” according to the Post. Ellison and Oracle did not respond to the Post for a request for comment, the Post reported.
Larry Ellison’s charitable efforts
Among his philanthropic initiatives, he gave $200 million to fund cancer-treatment research at the University of Southern California in 2016. The Lawrence J. Ellison Institute for Transformative Medicine in Los Angles is named for him.
Darrell Hofheinz is a USA TODAY Network of Florida journalist who writes about Palm Beach real estate in his weekly “Beyond the Hedges” column. Follow him on Twitter: @PBDN_Hofheinz.