Published On: Sun, Feb 9th, 2014

Larry Ellison Donates $100 Million To Support The Eradication Of Polio

Ellison, through his foundation, will be gifting the money to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative over the next five years.

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Larry  Ellison/ Getty

Larry  Ellison, owner  of  software giant Oracle has recently announced his plans to donate the sum of $100 million through his Lawrence Ellison Foundation to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI).

Ellison’s donation comes in the light of the tremendous progress being made to gradually eradicate the disease, especially in the world’s developing countries, and is part of a drive on the part of the GPEI to raise $5.5 billion over the next six years to finally eradicate polio from the list of one of the world’s major illnesses.

Thanks to Larry Ellison’s generosity, there are now 10 major philanthropists who have stuck to date pledged more than $500 million to the fund, which will be added to the $1.8 billion already promised by Bill Gates, co-chairman  of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.  To date, a total of  35 donors, either governments or private organizations have committed to a total of $4 billion in pledges to support the GPEI.

Announcing the donation to be made by the Lawrence Ellison Foundation, Bill Gates stated that  the tremendous efforts being made to eradicate the polio disease is making tremendous headway, as is possible to say that we are approaching the final stages.

“We knew this last push would be the hardest and the lack of resources can’t be what stands in the way of delivering on the promise of a world without polio. Larry Ellison’s generous donation will help to ensure that all children are protected from this and other vaccine-preventable diseases, ” summed up Gates.

Polio was one of the most dreaded childhood diseases of the 20th century, beginning  in Europe and spreading to the United States. Since a vaccine was first developed in the 1950’s the effect of the disease in the Western World has been practically non existent, although it became more prevalent in the Third World countries. The existence of polio vaccines has reduced the global number of polio cases from many hundreds of thousands per year  to under a thousand today

By the beginning of 2013, there were only three countries in the world regarded as being polio endemic,  down from 125 in 1988. These countries are Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan, which have been recently joined by   another five countries that previously had been classed as  polio-free but  unfortunately are now reporting widespread infections

The Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) was first  launched in 1988, thanks to the considerable efforts of national governments, the World Health Organization (WHO), Rotary International, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as well as with their initiatives being  supported by a

Larry Ellison / Getty

number of key partners, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

 

Larry Ellison began his working career began in the early nineteen seventies with the recently formed Amdahl Corporation, based in  California.  After a few years, Ellison left Amdahl to join the Ampex Corporation, where one of his first projects was to build a complex database, to which he gave the title named “Oracle”, a name that was to go to have a significant effect in his life. In 1977 Larry Ellison parted company with the Ampex Corporation to establish the Software Development Laboratories (SDL) with two other partners. The new company had a working capital of just $2, 000, of which $1, 200 was put up by Ellison. A few years later, the company was renamed Oracle after the Oracle database that Ellison had developed almost a decade previously.

Over the years, Ellison grew Oracle to become one of the World’s largest and most successful software companies, with an annual global turnover of 37 billion dollars worldwide, employing close to 120, 000 people.

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