Oprah Winfrey

A media proprietor, talk show host, and philanthropist.

About Oprah:

America's first lady of talk shows, Oprah Gail Winfrey (born January 19, 1954) or otherwise known as "Oprah", is well known for finally becoming the most watched daytime show in which she hosts on television. Her comforting relationship with guests and audiences on the Oprah Winfrey Show earned her well-known adoration, as well as her own production company.


  • Oprah is the first African American woman named to Forbes magazine's billionaire list. In 2003, she published two magazines: The Oprah Magazine & O at Home.
  • She was also named the richest African American of the 20th century.
  • In 1986, she received a special award from the Chicago Academy for the Arts for unique contributions to the city's artistic community and was named Woman of Achievement by the National Organization of Women.
  • The Oprah Winfrey Show won several Emmys for Best Talk Show, and Winfrey was honored as Best Talk Show Host.
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Early Life:

  • Oprah Gail Winfrey was born to Vernita Lee and Vernon Winfrey on an isolated farm in Kosciusko, Mississippi. Her name was originally supposed to be Orpah, from the bible, but later changed and known as Oprah due to difficult pronunciation and spelling.
  • Oprah's parents later separated soon after she was born and left her in the care of her grandmother on the farm.
  • Due to her grandmother's strict guidelines, Oprah learned how to read at age 2 and was convinced that she was smart enough to pass kindergarten, first and second grade in which she did going straight to third grade.
  • Due to her mom working at odd jobs to earn as much money as possible, Oprah began to be sexually abused under her mother's lack of supervision.
  • Oprah became a delinquent teenager, frequently begging or attention. For example, once she fakes a robbery by smashing glass and feigning amnesia to steal out of her mothers purse just because she was a typical teen and wanted a new pair of glasses. Other times, faked as being an orphan to convince people to give her money.
  • Due to delinquency, she was sent to her father in Nashville.

" Winfrey said her father saved her life. He was very strict and provided her with guidance, structure, rules, and books. He required his daughter to complete weekly book reports, and she went without dinner until she learned five new vocabulary words each day. "

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Getting Involved:

  • In 1977, During Good Morning America, Oprah was honored to do the local news updates and call cut-ins, until she was moved to the morning talk show People are Talking with Co-Host Richard Sher. She spent 7 years on the show until general manager of ABC Chicago Saw Winfrey in an audition tape sent in by her producer. Winfrey moved to Chicago in January 1984 and took over as anchor on A.M Chicago, a morning talk show which was consistently last in the ratings. She changed the whole perspective of the show from common women issues to current and controversial topics and after one month the show was even with Donahue's program. Three months later in September 1985 the program later called, Oprah Winfrey Show, was expanded to an hour long and later moved to New York.
  • "During her freshman year at Tennessee State, Winfrey became Miss Black Nashville and Miss Tennessee. The Nashville CBS affiliate offered her a job; Winfrey turned it down twice, but finally took the advice of a speech teacher, who reminded her that job offers from CBS were "the reason people go to college." Now seen each evening on WTVFTV, Winfrey was Nashville's first African American female co-anchor of the evening news. She was 19 years old and still a sophomore in college."

  • Once graduated in 1976, Oprah went to Baltimore to become a reporter and co-anchor at ABC. The station sent her to New York for a beauty overhaul, in which Oprah her assistant news director attempts to make her Puerto Rican because her hair is too thick, nose is too wide, and her chin's too big. The New York salon only made things worse by giving her a bad permanent, leaving her temporarily bald and depressed. This is when she had a weight problem and it became so much a part of her persona.

Choices and Results:

Winfrey is also politically active. In 1991 a tragic story of a 4 year old Chiago girl's molestation and murder prompted Winfrey, as a former abuse victim, "to take stand for the children of this country," she explained in People. With the help of a former Illnois governor, she proposed a federal child protection legislation designed to keep nationwide records of convicted child abusers. In addition, Winfrey pursued a ruling that would guarantee very strict sentences to those convicted of child abuse.

In Her Words:

  • "Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough." - Oprah Winfrey

  • "I don't yell at people, I don't mistreat people. I don't talk down to people, so no one else in this building, in this vicinity, has the right to do it." - Oprah Winfrey
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Words for Her:

  • “I'm an athlete and I'm black, and a lot of black athletes go broke. I do not want to become a statistic, so maybe I overcompensate. But I'm paranoid. Oprah told me a long time ago, 'You sign every check. Never let anyone sign any checks.” - Serena Williams

  • “Oprah is so bright, and her intelligence is so piercing that I don't think anyone who spends a few minutes with her isn't struck by that.” - Victoria Principal

  • "Oprah is a wealthy person, pack leader of the human world. So many see her as the dominant one, as the authority figure. The way I view her energy, seeing her on TV, is a very calm, quiet energy. You need, in order to gain control, higher energy than your dog." - Cesar Millan


Winfrey wrote a book called, The Deep End of the Ocean which has sales significantly, with 68,000 copies entering the market since it was released in June of that year. Surprisingly, between the last weekend August when the Winfrey told her plans to the publisher and her September on-air announcement, later was printed 90,000 more. The self-helping, inspirational, and celebrity titles later became number one best-seller with a total of almost a billion sales.

Winfrey nows lives in a condo in Chicago and owns 162- acre farm in Indiana. She purchased a $54 milion estate in Santa Barbara. She spends 4 nights a week helping for free at local churches, shelters, and youth organizations. Winfrey also spends two Saturdays a month with the Little Sisters program she set up Chicago's Cabrini-Green housing project.

Annotated Bibliography

  1. "Oprah Winfrey in 1986, the same year The Oprah Winfrey Show went into syndication." American Decades Primary Sources. Ed. Cynthia Rose. Vol. 9: 1980-1989. Detroit: Gale, 2004. Biography in Context. Web. 3 May 2016. I chose this source because it went into depth about some part of her lives that were needed. This source was better then most sources because it included some important things that were not included in others.
  2. "Oprah Winfrey at the Toronto International Film Festival." UPI Photo Collection. 2010. Biography in Context. Web. 4 May 2016. I liked this picture because it really shows what Oprah looks like.
  3. "Poet Maya Angalou Reads A New Poem To Oprah In Chicago." UPI Photo Collection. 2011. Biography in Context. Web. 4 May 2016. I liked this picture because it shows how interactive Oprah is in the inspirational line of business.
  4. "Oprah Winfrey." Who's Who Among African Americans. Detroit: Gale, 2016. Biography in Context. Web. 3 May 2016. I picked this source because it really went into detail about how her life began and how it ended up more than other sources.
  5. "Oprah Gail Winfrey." Encyclopedia of World Biography. Detroit: Gale, 1998. Biography in Context. Web. 3 May 2016. This was my main source because it went into every detail about Oprah's life and included things you would never have known about Oprah
  6. "Victoria Principal." BrainyQuote.com. Xplore Inc, 2016. 4 May 2016 , "Serena Williams." BrainyQuote.com. Xplore Inc, 2016. 4 May 2016 , "Cesar Millan." BrainyQuote.com. Xplore Inc, 2016. 4 May 2016. I choose these quotes because it shows how much recognition she has to other celebrities and how they view her too
  7. http://sodive.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Oprah-Winfrey.jpg I like this picture because it shows her when she was little and I wanted to include it into the section of Early Life.
  8. http://www.zimbio.com/pictures/etlwA97OuGE/In+Profile+Oprah+Winfrey I used this picture because it shows her winning an Emmy and her accomplishment
  9. https://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/3518.Oprah_Winfrey I used this source for quotes that Oprah had said for a new source instead of brainy quote.
  10. http://www.inc.com/zoe-henry/oprah-winfrey-top-9-quotes.html I used this source for more quotes from Oprah to vary the sources I use
  11. http://www.forbes.com/forbes/welcome/ I used this website to retrieve a picture of Serena Williams so that I didn't have to use google.
  12. http://dallas.wikia.com/wiki/Victoria_Principal I used this website to retrieve a picture of Victoria Principle to show image her when she said the quote.
  13. http://www.onemagnificentmorning.com/programs/dog-whisperer-with-cesar- millan-family-edition. I used this picture so that readers could have a visual of Cesar who had said the quote.