Oprah Winfrey Biography : Talk Show Host, Actress & Pioneer (The Oprah Winfrey Show)
Famous for : Coming from an abusive upbringing to be one of Americas most wealthy and successful women. Pioneering the talk show program with her "Oprah Winfrey Show".
Winfrey details : Born - USA January 29, 1954 Lives - USA
More Information : The Oprah Winfrey Show
Oprah Winfrey came from a humble background to become one of America's most influential women. Winfrey has amassed a great fortune through her media and publishing interests and uses her fame and wealth to positively influence the lives of people in need.
Born Orpah (after a character from the Bible) Winfrey on January 29, 1954 in Kosciusko, Mississippi - USA, but now goes by the name of Oprah. At a young age Winfrey's parents separated and sent her to live with grandparents in very poor surroundings until the age of 6 when she moved to live with her mother. She was consequently se-xually mol-ested by male relatives at a young age and endured the hardship up until she was 14 when Winfrey moved to live with her father in Nashville Tennessee.
Living with her father did not eliminate her problems even though he was loving (yet strict) towards her. Winfrey struggled with dr-ugs and rebellious behavior and lost a baby after giving birth to it prematurely. Although her wild behavior conflicted with her father's strict rules and high standards she eventually began to settle after being awarded a University Scholarship.
"I knew there was a way out. I knew there was another kind of life because I had read about it. I knew there were other places, and there was another way of being." Oprah Winfrey
Winfrey studied at the Tennessee State University and received a BA in Speech and Performing Arts. Her father's high standards inspired her to aim for and achieve more from life. Winfrey became involved in several groups and pursued her interests in media and journalism while at University. Even though her early years in life where filled with hardship, she was always gifted with intelligence and she graduated as an honors student.
Oprah Winfrey's career in the media industry began as a news anchor and reporter for a television station in Nashville (although she also worked in radio during high school as a newscaster). She was the first black African American woman television news anchor to work in Nashville on the WTVF-TV station at the young age of 19. Winfrey never felt comfortable in her position as a news anchor and only began to enjoy her work when she was moved to the early morning talk show "People are Talking" at WJZ-TV in Baltimore where she was able to be herself and express her own opinions and share her true feelings about topics that moved her.
Winfrey's career really began to take off after moving to Chicago in 1984 to host "AM Chicago", an early morning talk show at WLS-TV's. It went on to become the number one ranked talk show shortly after she started and it was renamed "The Oprah Winfrey Show" after one year.
The Oprah Winfrey Show went on to become one of the most successful and highest ranked television talk show programs in history. The program is viewed by more than 20 million Americans (USA) every week and broadcast Internationally to more than one hundred countries worldwide. Winfrey's production company "Harpo Productions, Inc" produces the program and she is the host.
The daytime talk show focuses on issues close to Winfrey's heart and she has continued to cover topics of value to her mostly female audience for more than 17 successful seasons of broadcasting. The Oprah Winfrey Show started the wildly influential "Oprah's Book Club" in 1996 where Oprah endorses what she considers to be books of value. Books that received the Oprah endorsement often suddenly went to number 1.
Winfrey's business and personal interests are wide ranging and she has managed to accomplish success in several areas. Apart from being a successful Talk show host she is also a producer, successful actress, Founder of the successful "O, the Oprah Magazine", co founder of "Oxygen Media", and a generous Philanthropist. Her entrepreneurial spirit and desire to change society for the better have brought her and her numerous companies many awards and achievements.
"What material success does is provide you with the ability to concentrate on other things that really matter. And that is being able to make a difference, not only in your own life, but in other people's lives." Oprah Winfrey
Oprah Winfrey continues to follow her dreams through her many business and media interests. She is one of the wealthiest women in the United States of America and is regularly placed high up on the Forbes magazine Rich List each year. Winfrey continues to influence and inspire people worldwide with her example of overcoming great odds to achieve great success financially, spiritually and socially.
Oprah Winfrey's Official Biography:
Through the power of media, Oprah Winfrey has created an unparalleled connection with people around the world. As supervising producer and host of the top-rated, award-winning The Oprah Winfrey Show, she has entertained, enlightened and uplifted millions of viewers for the past two decades. Her accomplishments as a global media leader and philanthropist have established her as one of the most respected and admired public figures today.
American television host, actress, producer, philanthropist. Oprah Gail Winfrey was born January 29, 1954, in Kosciusko, Mississippi. After a troubled adolescence in a small farming community, where she was sexually abused by a number of male relatives and friends of her mother, Vernita, she moved to Nashville to live with her father, Vernon, a barber and businessman. She entered Tennessee State University in 1971 and began working in radio and television broadcasting in Nashville.
In 1976, Winfrey moved to Baltimore, where she hosted the TV chat show, People Are Talking. The show became a hit and Winfrey stayed with it for eight years, after which she was recruited by a Chicago TV station to host her own morning show, A.M. Chicago. Her major competitor in the time slot was Phil Donahue. Within several months, Winfrey's open, warm-hearted personal style had won her 100,000 more viewers than Donahue and had taken her show from last place to first in the ratings. Her success led to nationwide fame and a role in Steven Spielberg's 1985 film, The Color Purple, for which she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.
Winfrey launched the Oprah Winfrey Show in 1986 as a nationally syndicated program. With its placement on 120 channels and an audience of 10 million people, the show grossed $125 million by the end of its first year, of which Winfrey received $30 million. She soon gained ownership of the program from ABC, drawing it under the control of her new production company, Harpo Productions ('Oprah' spelled backwards) and making more and more money from syndication.
In 1994, with talk shows becoming increasingly trashy and exploitative, Winfrey pledged to keep her show free of tabloid topics. Although ratings initially fell, she earned the respect of her viewers and was soon rewarded with an upsurge in popularity. Her projects with Harpo have included the highly rated 1989 TV miniseries, The Women of Brewster Place, which she also starred in. Winfrey also signed a multi-picture contract with Disney. The initial project, 1998's Beloved, based on Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Toni Morrison and starring Winfrey and Danny Glover, got mixed reviews and generally failed to live up to expectations.
Winfrey, who became almost as well-known for her weight loss efforts as for her talk show, lost an estimated 90 pounds (dropping to her ideal weight of around 150 pounds) and competed in the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, DC, in 1995. In the wake of her highly publicized success, Winfrey's personal chef, Rosie Daley, and trainer, Bob Greene, both published best-selling books.
On January 29, 1954 Oprah Gail Winfrey was born to unwed, teenage parents in Kosciusko, Mississippi. Oprah had a mountain of obstacles already in front of her as a newborn baby... she was born to unwed teenage parents, she was female, she was black, and she was poor. Oprah's mother was an eighteen-year-old housemaid named Vernita Lee. Her father was a twenty-year-old doing duty in the armed forces: his name was Vernon Winfrey.
For the first six years of her life, the young Winfrey was raised on a Mississippi farm by her grandmother. That being perhaps the first stroke of good luck for the young child. Oprah has stated that living with her grandmother probably saved her life. While in her grandmother's care, she was taught to read at a very early age, instilling a love of reading in her that she retains today. She began her public speaking career at the tender age of three when she began reading aloud and reciting sermons to the congregation of her church.
Oprah has said that she heard her grandmother state on several occasions that Oprah was "gifted." While the young child didn't know exactly what being "gifted" meant, she thought that it meant that she was special. And that was enough to keep her going. That bit of praise, the thought that she was "gifted" and "special" may have been what got her through the hard years that she was to spend with her mother.