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11/15/2013
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Aoife M. McEvoy
Aoife M. McEvoy
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10 Lavish Monuments To Tech Egos

How do tech billionaires spend it all? Check out the toys and palatial homes owned by 10 of geekdom's rich and famous.
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It's been a month since Oracle Team USA's sensational comeback to victory in the 34th America's Cup. And in the wake of this win -- given the estimated $100 million that Team USA owner Larry Ellison spent on the race -- we thought it was high time to highlight the biggest tech giants and their staggering displays of wealth.

All but one of the leaders we cover are billionaires. According to Forbes, Ellison's net worth tops the list at $43 billion, followed by Jeff Bezos ($25.2 billion) and Google's Larry Page ($23 billion) and Sergey Brin ($22.8 billion).

Let's start with the Oracle boss. Ellison adds real estate purchases to his collection the way most of us splurge on electronics. His lavish residences around the world reportedly include a 23-acre manse in Woodside, Calif. ($12 million), an equestrian estate ($23 million), a McMansion in Pacific Heights, San Francisco (just less than $4 million), and various properties in Lake Tahoe ($100 million).

The Woodside home was based on a 16th-century Japanese palace and took nine years -- and $200 million -- to build. On the plus side, the Woodside location gives Ellison a pleasant commute to Oracle headquarters in nearby Redwood Shores (roughly 20 minutes, we reckon). Ellison must enjoy driving, though. His many vehicles include an Audi R8, a Lexus LFA, and an Acura NSX. And up until about three years ago, Ellison owned a McLaren F1. He bought the exotic car new in 1995 when it was priced at approximately $970,000. At auction, the Formula One car sold for $3,575,000.

Of course, Ellison, a licensed pilot, owns jets and yachts. His aircraft fleet has included an Italian Marchetti jet, a MiG-29 fighter jet, and a Gulfstream V.

In addition to the Bay Area empires, Ellison also reportedly owns property in Rhode Island, Malibu, Rancho Mirage -- an inland resort town in Southern California, with a golf course to boot -- and Kyoto, Japan. His most outlandish purchase, though, is a Hawaiian island. He allegedly paid $500 million for 98 percent of Lanai last year.

Oh, how the 1 percent lives.

Continue this slideshow for more fun trivia about tech titans' extravagant toys.

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WKash
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WKash,
User Rank: Author
11/22/2013 | 3:06:24 PM
Musk, Elon Musk: The next 007?
Elon comes closest to a real life Tony Stark.
Camber
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Camber,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/18/2013 | 7:33:07 AM
Re: Where's Bill ?
Rather than Larry vs Bill what about the much more familiar rivalry of Bill vs Steve? Now that Steve is gone is it still that necessary to uphold the image of him as the hard-nosed SOB, while alive I recall criticism that unlike Bill you rarely saw Steve's name connected with any charitable cause. Do we know differently now?

Interesting don't you think that while this blog was about "Lavish Monuments" these has been more discussion about selfishness than the actual monuments. Class warfare is alive and well and flourishing in this country. I think that the blog would've gotten a better reception in People Magazine.
kelleyd1
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kelleyd1,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/17/2013 | 6:10:54 PM
fast boats versus curing malaria
Years ago both Ellison and Gates were criticized for hording their money.

Since then, Gates started the Gates Foundation with the goal of ensuring that people are able to make the most of their lives. Gates has invested his billions to help solve tough challenges such as extreme poverty, poor health in developing countries and the failures of America's education system.

I was in San Francisco when Ellison's boat won the America's Cup. His dollars still seem to be going to fast boats and big houses. It is a shame that he hasn't used his money for the greater good. His money, not mine, but still a shame.  
kelleyd1
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kelleyd1,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/17/2013 | 6:10:54 PM
fast boats versus curing malaria
Years ago both Ellison and Gates were criticized for hording their money.

Since then, Gates started the Gates Foundation with the goal of ensuring that people are able to make the most of their lives. Gates has invested his billions to help solve tough challenges such as extreme poverty, poor health in developing countries and the failures of America's education system.

I was in San Francisco when Ellison's boat won the America's Cup. His dollars still seem to be going to fast boats and big houses. It is a shame that he hasn't used his money for the greater good. His money, not mine, but still a shame.  
Camber
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Camber,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/16/2013 | 5:12:08 PM
Where's Bill ?
Of course very much missing from the list is Bill Gates. Should I assume that there are no "lavish monuments" where Bill and Melinda are concerned? And who has more money Bill or Larry, and how does the Foundation enter into the picture, maybe this is Bill's monument ? Altho 10 years old this article  gives you a real TMZ feel for these big machers.  
Tom Murphy
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Tom Murphy,
User Rank: Author
11/16/2013 | 1:21:58 PM
Re: Larry, Our Sultan of Brunei
Camber. Funny you should mention the Titanic. There's an old folk song about the ship's sinking that talks about how the champion prize fighter Jack Johnson wasn't allowed to board that ill-fated voyage because he was black.  Here are a few lines:

Jack Johnson wanted to get on board, but the captain said "we don't haul no coal" Fare thee, Titanic, fare the well.

----------

Jack Johnson when he heard the news, ya shudda seen him just shakin' his blues. Fare thee, Titatic, fare thee well.

Jack Johnson when he got the shock, ya shudda seen him doing the Eagle Rock. Fare thee, Titanic, fare thee well.

 

 
Camber
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Camber,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/16/2013 | 12:42:32 PM
Re: Larry, Our Sultan of Brunei
Tom,

Not that I was saying a whole lot but yet I stand by what little I did say

social consciousness,

social outrage,

politics,

all ASIDE.

If you saw the film Titanic did you cheer when she went down?
Tom Murphy
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Tom Murphy,
User Rank: Author
11/16/2013 | 11:50:28 AM
Re: Lavish is an understatement
Nicole, as in NYC where the Bloomberg Administration celebrated the arrival of so many billionaires, there is a growing sense in the Bay Area that the rising tide of technology's elite is making life impossible for the ordinary folks. Rents are suspassing the levels of the dot-com eras, homes are unaffordable, and governments are jacking up fees and sales taxes to pay for public services.  Meanwhile, the wealthy are lobbying for elimination of capital gains taxes -- which is the primary source of taxation on the rich.  (Infamous billionaire Leona Helmsly once observed "Taxes are for the little people.")

This is an unsustainable model. We saw in the 30s and late 60s that the ordinary people will rise up against this. Perhaps DeBlasio's election in NY is the first sign of this. Look for more in the mid-term elections, and in protests coming soon to a city near you. I just hope we can avoid the violence that marked such eras in the past.
Tom Murphy
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Tom Murphy,
User Rank: Author
11/16/2013 | 11:43:47 AM
Re: Larry, Our Sultan of Brunei
I don't think so, Camber.  We are in an age where the rich are richer and the poor are poorer.  History tells us this will lead to social discord, as it did in the 30s and the late 60s.  The wealthy will wonder why because they have no idea how this affects the rest of us who work hard just to afford decent housing a healthy environment for our kids.
Camber
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Camber,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/16/2013 | 9:34:20 AM
Larry, Our Sultan of Brunei
Are the flamboyance and over the the top spending of Larry Ellison a throwback to a different age when such behaivior wss not frowned upon but considered de rigueur if you had the cash?  
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