• 1941 December 23
    (b.) -
    1994 November 11


A co-founder of Oracle Corporation and architect of Oracle's relational database management system, he led product design and development from 1977 until 1992. In December, 1992, he left that role and spun off a small, advanced technology group within Oracle. He was an Oracle board member until Oct., 1993. He was born in Cicero, Illinois and graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1963 with a degree in mathematics. In 1977 he met Larry Ellison at Ampex, where he was Larry's supervisor. He left Ampex soon thereafter to found a company called Software Development Laboratories with Ed Oates and Bruce Scott, with Larry Ellison joining the company several months later. It was at this time that Ed Oates introduced him and Ellison to a paper by E. F. Codd on the relational model for database management. IBM was slow to see the commercial value of Codd's relational database management system (RDBMS), allowing him and Ellison to beat them to the market. In the start-up days of Oracle he was the lead engineer, programming the majority of Oracle Version 3 by himself. As head of engineering his management style was in stark contrast to that of Larry Ellison, who cultivated Oracle's hard-driving sales culture. Although he expected his engineers to produce, he did not agree with the demands laid upon them by Ellison. He thought it was wrong for people to work extremely late hours and that they should have the chance to see their families. According to Ellison, he was "loyal to the people before the company." He was diagnosed in 1993 with Mesothelioma, a form of lung cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. He died on Friday, 11 November 1994 at the age of 52, surrounded by family.
  • Date of Birth:

    1941 December 23
  • Date of Death:

    1994 November 11
  • Gender:

  • Noted For:

    Architect of Oracle's relational database management system
  • Category of Achievement:

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