It was made by James Gosling in 1991. The first major version was released in 1996. Java was intended to be a universal programming language, where you would "write once, run anytime" by compiling the program everytime you wanted to run it. You could run the same code on another computer because it would compile it, making a specific file called a bytecode that only worked on that computer. That way, you could have many different types of computers able to run the same code.
In 2010 Sun Microsystems, the company that Gosling worked at and developed Java at, was aquired by Oracle.