Oprah Winfrey

"Where there is no struggle, there is no strength."

Biographical Information

  • Born: January 29, 1954 in rural Kosciusko, Mississippi.
  • Oprah was an actress, entrepreneur, news anchor for CBS TV station, co-anchor and reporter for ABC news and on-air server for African American Community.
  • Appeared in movies: The Color Purple, The Woman of Brewster Place and The Butler. She lent her voice to Charlotte's Web and The Princess in the Frog.
  • She now owns her own on-air book club, talk show, and magazine.

Fun Facts

  • Oprah ran away and was appointed to juvenile detention only to be sent back home due to low bed count.
  • Won Miss Black Tennessee beauty pageant when she was 17.
  • She was recruited by Chicago T.V station to host her own morning show, A.M Chicago. She obtained over a hundred thousand viewers and later renamed the show; The Oprah Winfrey Show.
  • The Oprah Winfrey Show is on 120 channels, has over a million person audience and gained $125 by the end of the first year.
  • Oprah also achieved control over a program, from ABC, that she put under Harpo Productions, Oprah spelled backwards.

Coming of Age

Oprah Winfrey is one of the most important woman in America. She is currently a billionaire and an inspirational woman to girls of all ages. She worked hard to get where she is right now.


Oprah's family was incredibly poor. She was sent to live with her grandmother since her mother was a teenager, unwed and unemployed. With her grandmother she learned to read when she was three and began to recite verses from the bible for her church. Even the members of the church realized that she contained a bud of great potential. At age six, she returned to her mother who had found a job as a housemaid. Unfortunately, Oprah was abused by close family and friends. Her life was a mess and she responded by rebelling. Although her lifestyle didn't get better immediately, after a while Oprah moved to live with her father. Her father had a positive influence on her. He encouraged her to work hard in order to reach success.


Oprah attended Tennessee University College in 1971, majoring in radio and TV broadcasting. She was given many job offers and appeared in many movies. She became recognized and soon owned her own talk show, The Oprah Winfrey Show. After that, Oprah's fame rocketed. She was nominated for Emmy and Academy Awards thanks to her killer acting skills. She was also the talk of magazines. According to Forbes magazine, "Oprah was the richest African American of the 20th century and the world's only Black billionaire for three years in the running." (Esten). As recorded by Life magazine, "Oprah's Angel Network has raised more than $51, 000, 000 for the charitable programs, including girls' education in South Africa and relief to the victims of Hurricane Katrina." (Winfrey). Oprah has effected the world with her kindness. She is one of the greatest philanthropists in African American History.

Analysis

Oprah's father and grandmother impacted her life greatly. They raised her in such a way that she has become the strong woman she is today. They taught her to work hard and believe in yourself and to expect large obstacles in life. Being poor, her grandmother wanted her to have a better life. On one particular day, Oprah was watching T.V and witnessed a Black man receive an Academy Award. "That could be you . . . if you believe in yourself." (Hugh) Her father told her. Oprah took this to heart. She experienced many terrible things, from the abuse of family and friends to people out in the world underestimating her greatly. Oprah used this to push forward and climb her way to the top. She went from being a poor young girl to a billionaire and one of the most influential people in the world.

Works Cited

Esten, Hugh, ed. "Oprah Winfrey."Achievement. American Academy of Achievement,
1996. Web. 9 Apr. 2014. <http://www.achievement.org/autodoc/page/
win0bio-1>.

"Oprah Winfrey."Biography. A+E Television Networks, LLC. C, 1996. Web. 7 Apr.
2014. <http://www.biography.com/people/oprah-winfrey-9534419>.

"Oprah Winfrey."Britannicia. 2014 Encyclopædia Britannica Inc.,, 2014. Web. 8
Apr. 2014. <http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/645317/
Oprah-Winfrey>.