- pregnant at age 14 and her son died shortly after birth
- sister's death related to cocaine addiction
- brother's death due to AIDS - related causes
- poverty was rubbed in her face at suburban high school - affected relationship with her mother
How she overcame her obstacles
- youngest person to ever receive the International Radio and Television Society's "Broadcaster of the Year Award"
- nominated for Oscar and Golden Globe award for best supporting actress for her performance in The Color Purple
- formed her own production company, Harpo Productions, Inc.
- first woman to own and produce her own talk show when Harpo acquired ownership for it
- named one of the "100 Most Influential People of the 20th Century" by Time Magazine and received a lifetime achievement award
- "Oprah Book Club"
- Oxygen Media, Inc.
- O, The Oprah Magazine & O At Home