top of page

70. Oprah Winfrey - One of the Most Influential Person on the Plant and a Living Legend

Updated: Jun 11, 2020

Circa, 1966, Rural Mississippi, America.

Once upon a time, In a Black Neighborhood, a 12 year old girl came rushing and gushingly asked her mother, " Where are my New Cloths and Gifts for Christmas for tomorrow" , then, he shoutingly asked " Have you bought cloths for brother and sister also ...."

Her Mother is on Welfare...And Then that,her mother called her to room and said, with dim face " We are not Celebrating Christmas this Year "

Then, Black Girl asked her mother innocently,

" What about Santa Claus...."

Her Mother said " No Santa Claus and Dont Irritate me.... "and moved out of the house and went to outside with sad face.....

Now, slowly this 12 year girl, started crying and thinking of herself...

" What I have to tell my friends tomorrow, as my they will bring Gifts and show to everyone..."

Then, she started realising that, They are really poor and cann't afford new cloths and gifts , but crying all along and slept like that...

At Midnight, 12 'O clock, Their door was knocked a few times and everybody woke up in the house...

For her amazement, local Church Nuns brought some baskets of Cloths , Gifts and Cakes and given to them....

Then, she is so happy that, thinking that " Some people have thought about us and brought some things for us....... "

Guess how this 12year old girl evolved and shaped her life .....!!

How Oprah Winfrey become Legend of Our Times ?

Lets dive deep into her life to understand get answer this question.

Oprah Gail Winfrey (born Orpah Gail Winfrey; January 29, 1954) is an American media executive, actress, talk show host, television producer, and philanthropist. She is best known for her talk show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, broadcast 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 and North America's first black multi-billionaire, and she has been ranked the greatest black philanthropist in American history.

By 2007, she was sometimes ranked as the most influential woman in the world.

Winfrey was born into poverty in rural Mississippi to a teenage single mother and later raised in inner-city Milwaukee. She has stated that she was molested during her childhood and early teens and became pregnant at 14; her son was born prematurely and died in infancy. 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 and became internationally syndicated.

Credited with creating a more intimate, confessional form of media communication,

Winfrey popularized and revolutionized the tabloid talk show genre pioneered by Phil Donahue. 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.

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,and having an emotion-centered approach, 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, delivering about one million votes to Barack Obama in the razor close 2008 Democratic primary.

In 2013, Winfrey was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Obama and honorary doctorate degrees from Duke and Harvard.

In 2008, she formed her own network, Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN).

Pic : Legend with Legends

President Barack Obama's Legacy | The Oprah Winfrey Show | Oprah Winfrey Network

I. Biography in Brief

Billionaire media executive and philanthropist Oprah Winfrey is best known for hosting her own internationally popular talk show from 1986 to 2011. From there she launched her own television network, OWN.

Pic : Legend with Legends

Why Nelson Mandela Says He's Only Human | The Oprah Winfrey Show | Oprah Winfrey Network

II. Who Is Oprah Winfrey?

Oprah Winfrey is a talk show host, media executive, actress and billionaire philanthropist. She’s best known for being the host of her own, wildly popular program, The Oprah Winfrey Show, which aired for 25 seasons, from 1986 to 2011. In 2011, Winfrey launched her own TV network, the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN).

Born in the rural town of Kosciusko, Mississippi, Winfrey moved to Baltimore in 1976, where she hosted People Are Talking. Afterward, she was recruited by a Chicago TV station to host her own morning show. 

III. Early Life and Education

Winfrey was born in the rural town of Kosciusko, Mississippi, on January 29, 1954. 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, Winfrey moved to Nashville to live with her father, Vernon, a barber and businessman.

In 1971, Winfrey entered Tennessee State University. She began working in radio and television broadcasting in Nashville.

How Denzel Washington's Wife Knew They Were Meant to Be | The Oprah Winfrey Show | OWN

IV. Early Broadcasting Career

In 1976, Winfrey moved to Baltimore, Maryland, 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.

V. The Oprah Winfrey Show'

Winfrey launched The Oprah Winfrey Show in 1986 as a nationally syndicated program that ran for 25 years, until 2011. 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.

Pic : Legend with Oprah Girls

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.

Projects with Harpo have included the highly-rated 1989 TV miniseries, The Women of Brewster Place, in which Winfrey also starred.

In 2004, Winfrey signed a new contract to continue The Oprah Winfrey Show through the 2010-11 season. At the time, the syndicated show was seen on nearly 212 U.S. stations and in more than 100 countries worldwide.

In 2009, Winfrey announced that she would be ending her program when her contract with ABC ended, in 2011.

Pic : Legend with Oprah Girls

VI. Oprah’s Book Club

Winfrey contributed immensely to the publishing world by launching her "Oprah's Book Club," as part of her talk show. The program propelled many unknown authors to the top of the bestseller lists and gave pleasure reading a new kind of popular prominence.

Winfrey has continued her book club. In 2018, she famously interviewed former First Lady Michelle Obama for the release of her memoir, Becoming.

Oprah’s Favorite Things

In 1997, Winfrey introduced "Oprah's Favorite Things," an annual list of holiday gifts curated by the mogul, on her talk show.

Even after moving onto other projects, Winfrey continued the annual tradition. For the 20th edition in 2017, the list was featured on Amazon. She became the first celebrity voice behind Alexa, the company's voice-control system, allowing shoppers to hear Winfrey herself explain her top picks for the season.

Pic :Sidney Poitier's Heartfelt Surprise That Made Oprah Cry | The Oprah Winfrey Show | OWN

V. Half-Sister

In the final season of her talk show, Winfrey made ratings soar when she revealed a family secret: she has a half-sister named Patricia.

Winfrey's mother, Lee, gave birth to a baby girl in 1963. At the time, Winfrey was 9 years old, and living with her father. Lee put the child up for adoption because she believed that she wouldn't be able to get off public assistance if she had another child to care for. Patricia lived in a series of foster homes until she was seven years old.

Patricia tried to connect with her birth mother through her adoption agency after she became an adult, but Lee did not want to meet her. After doing some research, she approached a niece of Winfrey's, and the two had DNA tests done, which proved they were related.

Winfrey only learned of her sister's existence a few months before she made the decision to publicize the knowledge. "It was one of the greatest surprises of my life," she said on her show.

Pic : Oprah with Gates and Buffet

VI. Weight Loss

Winfrey has publicly struggled with her weight, and her numerous weight loss efforts have been well-documented. In 1988, she revealed on her talk show that she lost 67 pounds on a liquid diet and exercise. "I had literally starved myself for four months - not a morsel of food," she later said. By 1992, she had gained most of the weight back.

In 1995, she lost an estimated 90 pounds (dropping to her ideal weight of around 150 pounds).

That year, she competed in the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C.

In the wake of her highly publicized success, Winfrey's personal chef, Rosie Daley, and trainer, Bob Greene, both published best-selling books. However Winfrey’s weight continued to fluctuate through the years.

VII. Weight Watchers

In 2015, Winfrey bought a 10 percent stake in Weight Watchers (WW). She also became and advisor for the company and secured herself a seat on the board, and she appeared in TV ads as a spokesperson for the company.

WW had been in a funk for a few years, but Winfrey’s involvement revived the company seeing a surge in membership and stock prices.

In early 2017, Winfrey revealed that she had again lost 42 pounds, which she credited to WW. More than two years later, she wrote a letter to WW members saying that she was diagnosed with pre-diabetes before her most recent weight loss journey, but that her blood pressure and sugar were now under control.

Pic : Oprah with Tim Cook, CEO of Apple

VIII. Oxygen Media and 'O Magazine'

In 1999 Winfrey debuted Oxygen Media, a company she co-founded that’s dedicated to producing cable and Internet programming for women. In doing so, Winfrey ensured her spot in the forefront of the media industry as one of the most powerful and wealthy people in show business. In 2002, she concluded a deal with the network to air a prime-time complement to her syndicated talk show.

Winfrey’s highly successful monthly magazine, published by Hearst, O: The Oprah Magazine, debuted in 2000.Oprah

IX. Winfrey Network (OWN)

Soon after The Oprah Winfrey Show ended in 2011, Winfrey moved to her own network, the Oprah Winfrey Network, a joint venture with Discovery Communications.

Despite a financially rocky start, the network made headlines in January 2013, when it aired an interview between Winfrey and Lance Armstrong, the American cyclist and seven-time Tour de France winner who was stripped of his Tour titles in 2012 due to doping charges.

During the interview, Armstrong admitted to using performance-enhancing substances throughout his cycling career, including the hormones cortisone, testosterone and erythropoietin (also known as EPO). "I am deeply flawed ... and I'm paying the price for it, and I think that's okay. I deserve this," he stated. The interview reportedly brought in millions of dollars in revenue for OWN.

Of her interview with Armstrong, Winfrey said in a statement, "He did not come clean in the manner I expected. It was surprising to me. I would say that, for myself, my team, all of us in the room, we were mesmerized by some of his answers. I felt he was thorough. He was serious. He certainly prepared himself for this moment. I would say he met the moment. At the end of it, we both were pretty exhausted."

In March 2015, Winfrey announced that her Chicago-based Harpo Studios would close at the end of the year to consolidate the company’s production operations to the Los Angeles-based OWN headquarters. Winfrey’s television empire was launched at the studio and it had been home to her daily syndicated talk show through its finale in 2011.

Pic Oprah with Mark Zukerberg

X. Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls

The Foundation

From the start, Oprah Winfrey knew that university study was essential to the students achieving their professional and personal goals, contributing to society and establishing financial independence.

The Students

We strive to raise future leaders who are able to navigate a variety of social and cultural contexts, and who will remain committed to the development of South Africa and the African continent.

Message from Founder, Oprah Winfrey

I can hardly believe that more than 10 years ago we officially opened the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls and welcomed our first class of itty bitty students, they were like young pups.

I'm so proud of all the incredible accomplishments of the students and of our alumnae. I am proud of our faculty who work tirelessly, giving up long hours; sacrificing their own families and engagements in their own lives to give to our girls. I am thankful to the OWLAG Board for their support and their guidance. I am grateful for all the families and communities that have supported our vision of creating a safe space to educate, to nurture, to empower and, of course, to inspire this next generation of leaders for South Africa and for the world.

As most of you know this school was my idea of a gift, not just to South Africa but in particular to Madiba. During my first visit to Nelson Mandela's home, back in 2002, I pledged to build a school for girls in South Africa because he and I both discussed and agreed that education was a way to end poverty in the nation of South Africa. The Academy opened its doors five years later, in 2007.

I was overcome with emotion, another five years later, as I witnessed the first graduating class of 72 students - that first Matric class walking across the stage in their beautiful dresses to accept their high school certificates. All of those young ladies were accepted into universities and colleges in and around South Africa as well as in the United States. Our alumnae are now graduating college and university and determining how they are going to make their mark in the world. I could not feel any more honored and proud of the work they have done to accomplish their goals and achieve their dreams.

.............Contd at below link

Oprah Winfrey Harvard Commencement speech | Harvard Commencement 2013


Born and raised in crushing poverty, Oprah Winfrey transformed her childhood talent for public speaking into a series of jobs on local TV and radio stations. After reviving the ratings of a failing Chicago talk show, she launched her own show, formed her own production company and became one of the wealthiest, most powerful women in the world. Along the way, Oprah has been admired by millions — and criticized by many.

Today, Oprah no longer hosts a talk show, but she remains at the helm of a multimillion dollar media empire, and she is still one of the most influential people on the planet.

She even influenced US Presidential Outcome when Obama contested.

When it comes to being benevolent and giving to charity, one person comes to mind: Oprah Winfrey. She has donated millions of dollars to various charities and organizations, with most of her money going to three foundations: The Angel Network, The Oprah Winfrey Foundation, and The Oprah Winfrey Operating Foundation.

How she survived poverty, educated herself with no one significant to depend on, how she entered in the media, how she propspered when racial prejudices existed all along, how she made a niche for herself in TV Talk Shows, how she continued Oprah Winfrey show for 25 Long Years and then on to start own Oprah Winfrey Network ( OWN ) ....and , in the end , how she became a Wealthiest African American Billionnaire with estimated Asset base of $ 3.2 Billions.....These are things of a Legend and a Live Story ....

In Nutshell, She remains as a Living Legend and Most Powerful Person on the Earth, inspiring millions of women and men in media and across all spheres of activities in the World, and remains as a Guidling Light and Hope for Millions of Under Privileged Individuals across all Continents in the World.



Sources :

65 views0 comments


bottom of page