Oprah Winfrey

#2 Talk Show Host in America!

From Rags to Riches

Oprah Gail Winfrey was born on January 29, 1954, into poverty in rural Mississippi. Oprah was born to unmarried teenage parents but grew up with her grandmother on a small pig farm. Growing up Winfrey lived a very hard life. As a child she was sexually abused on many occasions which led her to become pregnant at age 14. She gave birth prematurely, and her son died shortly after birth. Soon after she moved to Tennessee to live with her father and his wife. Oprah's father gave her the discipline she was lacking in her life, and also knew the importance of education. Saying that, it wasn't long after until Oprah became an honors student at her high school. Her life seemed to be looking up after her move. Winfrey earned a full scholarship to Tennessee State University and worked at a local radio station during her schooling there. After she graduated she accepted a job offer from Nashville's WLAC-TV, in which she became the youngest news anchor at the station. Then in 1976, she moved to Baltimore's WJZ-TV to co-anchor the six o'clock news.


Oprah's Big Break

Oprah worked at radio stations and news stations for years. In January 1984, Oprah moved to Chicago to host A.M, Chicago for WLS-TV. In less than a year, the show was made even longer and was renamed The Oprah Winfrey Show. In 1986, it became the highest-rated talk show in television history! Then In 1988, she established Harpo Studios. The production facility in Chicago, making her the third woman in the American entertainment industry to her own studio. Oprah then made her acting debut in the film The Color Purple. Her performance earned her an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress and nominations for a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress.
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Oprah's Success Today

The Oprah Winfrey Show is still highly successful. Winfrey has also wrote six different books and produced the film of the novel Beloved. Oprah has also received many awards for her broadcasting and humanitarian work. As of September 2013, Oprah's net worth is estimated to be $2.9 billion dollars, making her America's only African-American billionaire. :)