Look who's #3 (behind Warren Buffett and Bill Gates), with a net worth of $27B, on the 2008 Forbes 400 (list of richest Americans).
Database titan continues to buy up would-be competition; more than 40 acquisitions in the past 4 years. Bought BEA Systems for $8.5 billion in January. Revenues up 25% to $22.4 billion this year; profits up 29% to $5.5 billion. Stock down 12% in past 12 months. Invested $125 million in Web software outfit Netsuite; took public in December, stock promptly dropped 30%. His shares still worth $500 million. Chicago native studied physics at U. of Chicago, didn't graduate. Started Oracle in 1977. Public 1986, a day before Microsoft. Owns 453-foot Rising Sun; built a smaller leisure boat because superyacht is hard to park. Squabbling in court with Swiss boating billionaire Ernesto Bertarelli over terms of next America's Cup. Recently unveiled hulking 90-foot trimaran he intends to use to win it.