The Rich Giveth, and They Taketh Away

Larry Ellison's recent withdrawal of a gift to Harvard made headlines, but he's not alone in wanting control over his charitable gifts

There's no controlling or predicting Larry Ellison, the maverick chief executive of Oracle (ORCL). To that, investors, competitors, and industry watchers can attest. Announcements of meetings with, and even public appearances by, the executive ought to be accompanied by a disclaimer, as he's known for showing up late or not at all. So when the world learned that Ellison wouldn't be delivering on a $115 million pledge to Harvard University, many onlookers weren't shocked.

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