6. Larry Ellison
Larry Ellison, the founder, and CEO of Oracle was born in 1944 to an unwed Jewish mother in New York City and raised by his adoptive parents (his aunt and uncle) on the South Side of Chicago. At age 22, Ellison dropped out of the University of Chicago after a single semester and moved to California, where he was hired by an electronics company. In 1977, with $1,200 of his own money, he launched a small company with two partners and obtained a contract to build a database management system for the CIA—which they named Oracle. It would become the company’s name in 1982 (Oracle Systems Corporation, later shortened to simply Oracle).
5. Amancio Ortega
The youngest of four children, Amancio Ortega was born in Busdongo de Arbás, León, Spain. The son of a railway worker, as a teenager Ortega moved with his family to A Coruña, where he took a job with a local shirtmaker and learned how to make clothing by hand. At age 16 he determined that the key to success in the business was not stocking up clothing inventory but giving customers precisely what they wanted when they wanted it. In 1975, Ortega used his small savings to open his first storefront—blocks from the store he had once worked. He named it Zara. More than four decades later, Zara stores around the world still employ the “fast fashion” strategy, refreshing clothing stock twice a week and filling orders in the first 48 hours.