On the other hand, she is best known for her talk show – The Oprah Winfrey Show (OWN). Not forgetting, broadcasting from Chicago, which was the highest-rated television program of its kind in history. And ran in national syndication for 25 years from 1986 to 2011.
Dubbed the “Queen of All Media”, she was the richest African American of the 20th century. In addition, North America’s first black multi-billionaire.
Additionally, Oprah Winfrey has been ranked the greatest black philanthropist in American history. Not to mention, she has also been sometimes ranked as the most influential woman in the world.
Oprah Winfrey Background Profile
She has stated that she was molested during her childhood and early teens and became pregnant at 14. Whereby, her son was born prematurely and died in infancy.
Above all, Winfrey was then sent to live with the man she calls her father, Vernon Winfrey. A barber in Tennessee, and landed a job in radio while still in high school.
By 19, she was a co-anchor for the local evening news. Winfrey’s often emotional, extemporaneous delivery eventually led to her transfer to the daytime talk show arena.
And after boosting a third-rated local Chicago talk show to first place, she launched her own production company. Becoming an internationally syndicated.
Through this medium, Winfrey broke 20th-century taboos and allowed LGBT people to enter the mainstream through television appearances.
In 1994, she was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame.
Her Early Life Profile
Born Oprah Gail Winfrey, her first name was spelled Orpah (not Oprah) on her birth certificate after the biblical figure of that name in the Book of Ruth, but people mispronounced it regularly and “Oprah” stuck.
She was born in Kosciusko, Mississippi, to an unmarried teenage mother. She later said that her conception was due to a single sexual encounter. And the couple broke up not long after.
Her mother, Vernita Lee (1935–2018), was a housemaid.
Winfrey’s biological father is usually noted as Vernon Winfrey (born c. 1933), a coal miner turned barber turned city councilman who had been in the Armed Forces when she was born.
However, Mississippi farmer and World War II veteran Noah Robinson Sr. (born c. 1925) has claimed to be her biological father.
Whereby, her genetic makeup was determined to be 89% Sub-Saharan African, 8% Native American, and 3% East Asian.
However, the East Asian markers may, given the imprecision of genetic testing, actually be Native American.
Oprah Winfrey Show Re-invention
By the mid-1990s, Winfrey had reinvented her show with a focus on literature, self-improvement, mindfulness, and spirituality.
Though she was criticized for unleashing a confession culture, promoting controversial self-help ideas. Additionally, for having an emotion-centered approach,
By the same fashion, she has also been praised for overcoming adversity to become a benefactor to others. Winfrey had also emerged as a political force in the 2008 presidential race. In general, delivering about one million votes to Barack Obama in the razor-close 2008 Democratic primary.
In 2008, she formed her own network, Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN).
The Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN)
Winfrey formed her own production company, Harpo, Inc., in August 1986 to produce the topics that she wanted to see produced. Including the television drama miniseries based on Gloria Naylor’s The Women of Brewster Place.
In which Winfrey was featured along with Cicely Tyson, Robin Givens, Olivia Cole, Jackee, Paula Kelly, and Lynn Whitfield.
The miniseries aired on March 1989 and a regular series called Brewster Place, also starring Winfrey, debuted on ABC in May 1990. Winfrey also owned the screen rights to Kaffir Boy, Mark Mathabane’s autobiographical (having to do with a story about oneself).
A book about growing up under apartheid in South Africa, as well as Toni Morrison’s (1931–) novel Beloved.
Winfrey’s company created the Oprah.com website to provide resources and interactive content relating to her shows, magazines, book club, and public charity.
Equally important, Oprah.com averages more than 70 million page views and more than six million users per month. And receives approximately 20,000 e-mails each week.
Winfrey initiated “Oprah’s Child Predator Watch List”, through her show and website, to help track down accused child molesters. Within the first 48 hours, two of the featured men were captured.
Notably, Winfrey has co-authored five books. At the announcement of a weight-loss book in 2005, co-authored with her personal trainer Bob Greene, it was said that her undisclosed advance fee had broken the record.
Especially, for the world’s highest book advance fee. After all, which was previously held by the autobiography of former U.S. President Bill Clinton.
Winfrey currently lives on “The Promised Land”, her 42-acre (17-ha) estate with ocean and mountain views in Montecito, California.
Equally, she also owns a house in Lavallette, New Jersey; an apartment in Chicago; an estate on Fisher Island, Florida; a ski house in Telluride, Colorado; and properties on Maui, Hawaii, Antigua and Orcas Island in Washington State.
Although one of the wealthiest women in America and the highest-paid entertainer in the world, Winfrey has made generous contributions to charitable organizations.
Not forgetting, institutions such as Morehouse College, the Harold Washington Library, the United Negro College Fund, and Tennessee State University.
Winfrey renewed her contract with King World Productions to continue The Oprah Winfrey Show through the 2003–2004 television season.
As a matter of fact, Winfrey and Harpo Production company plan to develop other syndicated television programming with King World.
Estimated Net Worth: 2.6 Billion USD
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Below are more useful and related online web links.
- Famous Celebrities & Public Figures Biography Profiles
- OWN: Encyclopedia of World Biography
- Oprah Winfrey: Full Biography Profile – Wikipedia