Oprah Winfrey, from Rags to Riches
Oprah Winfrey is as famous as the President of the United States and it’s not possible to mention ‘talk shows’ without Oprah’s name coming up. There’s probably nothing she has not done on Television and when you consider her beginnings as a small time girl from a humble background, its amazing what she has achieved in her life, from TV host to producer, philanthropist, actress and whatever it was that came across her way, she never let go of any opportunity. As she says in one of her famous quotes “…What I know is, that if you do work that you love and the work fulfills you, the rest will come….”
Oprah was born on 29 January 1954 in Mississippi, USA and did not have a happy childhood. She was just a baby when her parents separated and she had to go and live with her grandparents in surroundings not suitable for a little child. Although her mother took her up when she was six, her life became even worse when she was sexually abused by her mother’s relatives until she went to live with her father in Nashville Tennessee at the age of 14. Oprah was rather wild and rebellious by this time and living with her father did not make things any better even though her father loved her very dearly. He was also very strict with Oprah and according to her, he would not accept anything less than what he thought was best for her. Eventually she began to settle down and made her father very happy by becoming an honor student and winning a scholarship to the Tennessee State University where she majored in Speech Communications and Performing Arts. By this time however she was already involved in broadcasting and soon after leaving college, she was signed on as a report at a local Television station in Nashville.
Oprah Winfrey was the first black African American woman to work in Television as a news anchor in Nashville at the age of 19. She however preferred a more relaxed atmosphere for her work and was given the morning show in a TV station in Baltimore where she enjoyed herself thoroughly by sharing her views and feelings with others. Oprah was however meant for big time and her career really soared after she moved to Chicago in 1984 to host another early morning talk show called “AM Chicago” The show became a hit and was ranked as the number one talk show which was renamed “The Oprah Winfrey Show” within one year of her taking over. As we all know, this show is one of the most successful talk shows watched by more than 20 million Americans, apart from which it’s also broadcast to over one hundred countries across the world.
Her Wealth and her Humanitarian Work
Not only is Oprah a very successful Talk show host, she’s also the producer of the Oprah Magazine, is a successful actress and a producer. She’s also a dedicated child right’s activist and was responsible for the formulation of a Bill signed by President Clinton in 1994 for the creation of a database of child abusers nationwide. She was also the recipient of the first ever Bob Hope Humanitarian Award from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences in September 2002. Oprah is one of the wealthiest women in America and according to the Forbes magazine she’s the only African American in the world who has held her place as a billionaire for three years running. Her money and her fame however has not stopped her from raising money for charitable organizations and Oprah continues to be an inspiration to people everywhere as one of the greatest living examples of a woman who overcame a terrible past and huge odds to achieve success in all aspects of her life. As Oprah would say “…..It doesn’t matter who you are, where you come from. The ability to triumph begins with you always…” How true it is for the “Most Powerful” and the “Most Influential” woman in the world.