Oprah Winfrey Life Story
Oprah - The beginning
Oprah was born in Kosciusko, Mississippi in January 1954. Her mother was a housekeeper and fell pregnant as a teenager, after a one night encounter.
After her birth, Oprah and her mother, Vernita Lee spent six years with her grandmother in poverty. By the age of three Oprah could read as she was taught by her grandmother, who took her to church, where she read Bible verses.
Her grandmother would hit her with a stick if she did not do her chores and they were incredibly poor, so much so, that she was forced to wear potato sacks for dresses.
At the age of six, her and her mother moved to Milwaukee where her mother worked long hours as a maid again. Vernita had another daughter which she gave birth to and had not much time for Oprah. She was forced to go and live with her biological father Vernon in Nashville. At this time, Vernita had yet another daughter which she put up for adoption and ended up on welfare. Oprah did not know of this sister until years later. When Oprah returned to her mother, Vernita had another son, whom died of AIDS related causes in 1989 and her sister died of a cocaine related addiction in 2003.
Oprah was molested by her uncle, cousin and a family friend from the age of 9 to thirteen, when she decided to run away from home.
Winfrey became pregnant at the age of fourteen but lost the baby. She went to high school but was picked on by students as some of them were the children of parents that had employed her friends.
Oprah stole money and argued with her mother, to try to keep up with the peers at school but her mother couldn't take it and sent her back to her father, without getting her back again.
Vernon, her father was strict and ensured that Oprah did well at school, which she did graduating with a scholarship to Tennessee University.
The Early Years in Oprah's Career
Her first job was a grocery clerk and at the age of seventeen, was crowned the "Miss Black Tennessee."
Winfrey studied communications in University and took an interest in media after working part time for the local radio station, which had found Oprah after the pageant.
Oprah moved to Baltimore in 1976, where she co- anchored the news.
In 1983, Oprah relocated to Chicago where she hosted a low rated morning talk show, which became the highest rated talk show in Chicago, overtaking Donahue.
In 1986 Oprah was given her own talk show called "The Oprah Winfrey Talk Show," which did extremely well in ratings. It was first classified as a tabloid talk show but Winfrey changed her show to allow for all kinds of topics to be discussed.
Michael Jackson was on her show in 1993 and it became the fourth most watched event in American history.
Oprah produced and starred in a television series, as well as founded the television cable network, "Oxygen," and she is also the president of "Harpo" Productions.
The production of " The Colour Purple," was produced by Oprah and she appeared in the Letterman show to promote it. The show got huge ratings and rumours were set that the two hosts were having a feud. Later on Letterman came onto Oprah's talk show and it was a big event for television viewers everywhere.
Winfrey played the role of "Sofia" in the " Colour Purple," directed by Steven Spielberg.
In 1986 she was nominated for an Academy award for her role but lost to Angelica Houston.
Winfrey had many controversial topics discussed on her show and many celebrities which outraged viewers with their discussions on alternative medication and all sorts.
Oprah and Where she is Now
After her role in "The Colour Purple," Oprah continued with her talk show and won an award from the National Organisation for Women, "Women of Achievement,"award. Winfrey also starred in another movie and broadcast live from Forsyth County, Georgia, where no blacks were allowed to live since 1912.
In 1987, she won an Emmy award for the best talk show and also performed in another movie, "Throw Momma From the Train."
Oprah was named broadcaster of the year and took ownership of her show with her production company, "Harpo."
In 1987, her half brother died of AIDS and in 1991 Oprah helped create the National Child Protection Act, in front of congress.
Her biggest show with the appearance of Michael Jackson, got President Bill Clinton to sign the Protection Act and Oprah won another two Emmy's.
Winfrey co - authored a book with her friend and dietitian, who is now a popular chef.
In 1995, Oprah became the first woman and the only black to appear on the Forbes list of the richest people and has been on it every year since.
On her show, she mentioned Mad Cow Disease and was sued by farmers saying that she was destroying their business and the sales of meat but she won the case.
In 1997, Oprah funded the Angel's Network which urges people to volunteer and make donations for good causes. At this time she also wrote a book called, "The Uncommon Wisdom of Oprah."
Winfrey's production company was named the most successful in the industry and in 2002 Oprah won the Bob Hope Humanitarian award for her service in television and film.
In 2005 Oprah was named the most influential woman in the history of America.
Oprah got Barack Obama onto her show and said that she would like him to be president and also interviewed him and his wife on the show. He told America that he would be a candidate for presidency and two years later became the president of America. Oprah promoted President Obama and still does today.
Winfrey signed a deal with the discovery health network in 2008 to take over the channel as Oprah Winfrey Network, which is an entire channel run by Oprah herself.
In 2011, a big shock for viewers came as Oprah announced that her Oprah Winfrey talk show would be coming to an end and on her final episode, filled with tears and thanks to her supporters, she closes her talk show.
Oprah had many other shows that she produced and still produces, which she is now working with on her own channel.
Winfrey opened a school in Africa and had many incidents reported as she hired the headmaster of the school, which she later discovered was abusing the girls.
Oprah launched her own magazine in 2000 and it has been successful ever since.
Winfrey starred in another movie called,"The Butler,"as the wife of the White house butler and the movie went to number one on its opening weekend.
Michael Jackson on Oprah
Which Talk show host is the most inspiring?
Oprah and Her Love Life
Oprah never had children and in 1986 began dating Stedman Graham, the executive director for athletes against drugs. They got engaged in 1992 and have been together for thirty years but not married. Winfrey said that she was married to her show and after going to Tina Turners wedding, she thought about marriage and it could possibly happen. Oprah also said that if she had married Stedman then their marriage would probably not last as he is a very conventional and traditional man and their relationship is not.
The billionaire has not wanted to have children as her career is very demanding and she did not want to neglect children. Her career would never have been as strong if children were there.