The Life of Oprah Winfrey

By: Abby B. P2

Through the hard times, through the easy times, through the times when no one thought she'd make it, Oprah Winfrey perservered on. She had many challenging experiences where she worked through them and never gave up. Oprah Winfrey had a difficult childhood, but she is now one of the most successful people in the world because of her persistance.


Oprah was born in 1954. Her parents meant to name her Orpah, from the bible, but due to difficulty spelling and pronouncing it, she was given her unique name. Soon after she was born, Oprah's father left her mother and Oprah moved in with her grandmother. At just 2 years old, she learned to read, and that same year she gave a speech to her church about Easter. When she was 6, Oprah moved back in with her mom and 2 half-brothers. Oprah was so intellegent that she ended up skipping kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grade and went straight to 3rd grade.


As a teenager, Oprah became very rebellious. She once stole money from her mom's purse, faked a robbery, smashed her glasses, and feigned amnesia, all so she could get a pair of new, more stylish glasses. This continued, and her mother decided that she couldn't handle it and sent her to live with her father in Nashville. Oprah's father disciplined her and calmed her down some. Oprah then got a full scholarship to Tennessee State University and graduated in 1976.


Oprah was offered jobs by Nashville CBS but turned them down twice. Finally on the 3rd offer, Oprah's speech teacher urged her to take the job and she became Nashville's first African-American female co-anchor at age 19. She later became a reporter at ABC affiliate WJZ-TV. The producer decided Oprah wasn't pretty enough and attempted to give her a make-over to make her look more Porterican. Eventually, he gave up telling her "hair is too thick, nose too wide, chin to big". Oprah then began to believe that she was ugly and ate comfort food, which started the weight problem that became so much of her persona.


Oprah moved to Chicago in 1924 and became an anchor on "A.M. Chicago". One month later, the show became SUPER popular because of her, and three months later it was renamed "The Oprah Winfrey Show" which was hosted by Oprah from 1985 to 2011. Oprah was also in The Color Purple in 1985.


Oprah liked to do her show her own way. She never used scripts, didn't research topics and often said she just "wings it". "The Oprah Winfrey Show" was a huge success because of Oprah's sharp wit and likable personality. She is now retired and about to turn 60, but the OWN continues.


Oprah Winfrey taught us all that if you keep working, even through the difficult times, you will be rewarded.

Big image
Why Nelson Mandela Says He's Only Human - Oprah Winfrey Network