Oprah Winfrey

“I don’t think of myself as a poor, deprived ghetto girl who made good. I think of myself as somebody who from an early age knew she was responsible for herself-and I had to make good.” ~Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey is a household name. From her successful talk show, to her television network and magazine, she is seen all over the place.

Unlike a lot of famous people out of Hollywood, Winfrey worked her way up into the industry. She overcame poverty, sexual abuse, racism, poor parenting, and made it out on top. She is known for “reinventing” the talk show, by making it more fun and interactive experience then the talk shows before her. Under her grandmother’s guidance, she learned how to read by the age of 2, and began reciting poetry at social clubs and church teas – she was known as “the little speaker.”

After Winfrey began to act out as a teen, she was sent to live with her father. Under his support, she became an honor student and realized her love again for public speaking. She earned scholarships from Tennessee State University, where she majored in speech and drama. While only a sophomore in college, she was offered a job as a co-news anchor at Nashville’s CBS affiliate, WTVF-TV, and became Nashville’s first female and first black co-anchor.

The Oprah Winfrey Show was launched in 1986 – and the rest is history. She went on to create her own production company, Harpo, which produces several popular shows, and her magazine, O.

By the end of the 1990s, Winfrey’s $415 million talk empire made her the wealthiest woman in show business. Her formula for success is, “Follow your instincts,” she says in a Ladies Home Journal magazine article. “That’s where true wisdom manifests itself.”

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