She is an actress, an entrepreneur, a philanthropist, and billionaire media executive, who hosted her own popular talk show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, which ran for 25 years.
Five Facts about Oprah Winfrey
Born in Kosciusko, Mississippi, a rural town
Sent to live with her father in Nashville while in her teens
At 19, became a news anchor for a local TV station
Graduated from Tennessee State University in 1976
Awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2013
Inspirational Quotes from Oprah Winfrey
“When you undervalue what you do, the world will undervalue who you are.”
Doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment”
“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.”
Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody’s going to know whether you did it or not.”
“The great courageous act that we must all do, is to have the courage to step out of our history and past so that we can live our dreams.”
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Oprah Winfrey Biography
Born to a teen mother in an impoverished environment, Oprah lived with her grandmother on a small farm. She was told that the most she could aspire for was a life as a maid in a white household that treated her ‘nicely’.
Husband and Children
She has been with partner Stedman Graham since 1986, and has no children.
While working in television in Baltimore, Maryland, she realized she was more interested in connecting with people rather than presenting an objective view as a reporter. She started to co-anchor a morning show, People Are Talking, and was commended for her warm personality. By 1985, in Chicago, she launched the nationally syndicated Oprah Winfrey show which ran from 1986 to 2011.
Mission and Work
The Oprah Winfrey Show proved enormously successful, with an audience of 10 million people who loved her honest and engaging style. It made $125 million at the end of the first year, and catapulted her into the big league. Soon she decided it was time to launch her own production company and started Harpo Productions.
As part of her talk show, she floated Oprah’s Book Club on her talk show. She selected a couple of books a few weeks in advance, letting viewers know, and then discussed the book on air. Many authors owe their popularity to this part of her show since once they were featured on the show, sales of their books took off.
An important part of her career and personality has been philanthropy. She is particularly interested in education as a means to lift oneself out of the circumstance of hopelessness. She founded Oprah’s Angel Network, which aimed to make in a difference in the lives of others.
Her philanthropic efforts extended to schools not only in the US, but also in South Africa. Inspired by Nelson Mandela, she donated $40 million to the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa through the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy Foundation.
She has been awarded by many organizations for her vision and fierce advocacy on behalf of girls and women. These include the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, and a Golden Globe award for lifetime achievement.
Rising up from an abusive and poverty-stricken background, her story of overcoming huge obstacles while daring to dream, building her own media empire, and becoming a major brand in the US, she represents hope for many disadvantaged women.
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