Oprah Winfrey, 1954

  • Oprah-Winfrey-WWP

Woman Category: Activism & Feminism, Business & Entrepreneurship, Media, Philanthropy, and Theater & CinemaWoman Tags: Actress, African-American Women, Businesswoman, Chicago Metro Area Women, Journalist, and Producer

  • HerStory

    The host, owner, and producer of the most popular Talk Show in the US history, and the first black American female billionaire.

    Oprah Winfrey is a living icon of the American dream, rising to enormous fame and wealth from an underprivileged, impoverished, abusive background. She grew up frequently moving between her parents’ separate homes and her grandmother in rural Mississippi. She learned to read and write in the early age of three, and was a keen learner, being promoted several grades in school. Winfrey found her calling in mass communication when during high school drama rehearsal, a local radio show offered her internship.
    Her big breakthrough came when invited to host a talk show in Chicago, and its name fast changed to ‘The Oprah Winfrey Show’, and remained so for 25 years, with 30,000 guests, 40 million viewers a week in 150 countries. Thanks to her fresh emotional style, it was ranked the most popular talk show in the world and won multiple awards. In the show’s finale in 2011, Oprah proudly testified not missing a single day of the 4561 days the show was on the air.
    She proved to be a skilled businesswoman, in addition to an innovative producer and inspirational personality. Today her company owns a cable network, a digital platform, online school, the biggest book club in the world, and a philanthropic foundation. She has a private airplane, five homes, and a magazine called O, with herself starring on the cover of each issue. She even has a law named after her – Oprah Bill – aimed at stopping child abuse.
    Her life partner since 1986 is Stedman Graham, a best-selling writer of motivational books. She lost a newborn baby at fourteen and declared she does not want children.

    “At 32 I figured out how to be myself, and I made a fortune being myself”

    “At 32 I figured out how to be myself, and I made a fortune being myself”


    More Interesting Anecdotes:

    • Her original name was Orpah, after a biblical character, but due to misspelling and pronunciation difficulties, it changed to Oprah. Her second name is Gail.
    • Despite her father’s disapproval of her wish to become an actress, she acted in several films and was nominated for an Academy Award for her role in “The Color Purple”.
    • She beat ‘Superman and Elvis’ and took the number one spot as a Pop Culture Icon on VH1’s ranking in 2003.
    • She writes a diary every day since age 15.
    • She describes Maya Angelou and Joan Rivers as her mentors.
    • Oprah was one of the producers of ‘Precious’, a movie based on the novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire, which received dozens of nominations, including six Academy Award nominations in 2010.
    • She is credited with helping Barack Obama to be elected President after her endorsement of him.
    • A recent survey shows that she would win if running for the 2020 US presidency.
  • More About Her Legacy

    * Presidential Medal of Freedom (2013)
    * Achievement Award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (1998)
    * Cecil B DeMille Award at Golden Globe Awards (2018)
    * Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award from the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences (2011)
    * Honorary National Book Award (1999)

  • Watch and Learn More

  • One of Her Landmarks

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  • Booking.com


  • THE Greatest Speech Ever by Oprah Winfrey [YOU NEED TO WATCH THIS]

    Audio book available for free here - https://goo.gl/jdKH4T

    FOOTAGE USED - https://goo.gl/uiZjsw

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  • Photographed by Brigitte Lacombe in 2009. Presented at the National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution. Photo credit - WWP team.

  • Citations and Additional References:
    Oprah.com website.
    IMDB website.
    Notable Biographies website.