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Oprah Winfrey Quotes

Oprah Winfrey (January 29, 1954 - )


Oprah Winfrey April 30, 2005 in Denver, Colorado

Oprah Winfrey April 30, 2005 in Denver, Colorado

Getty Images / Thomas Cooper
Oprah Winfrey API FEST 2009

Oprah Winfrey at a screening of the movie Precious, AFI Fest, November 1, 2009

Getty Images / Jason Merritt
Oprah Winfrey, whose early life was marked by abuse, entered broadcasting in Nashville, Tennessee, at the age of 17, moving to news then talk shows. She took a failing Chicago talk show and made it into one of the most popular talk shows ever: The Oprah Winfrey Show.

Oprah Winfrey was the first African American woman to become a billionaire.

Selected Oprah Winfrey Quotations

• I am where I am because of the bridges that I crossed. Sojourner Truth was a bridge. Harriet Tubman was a bridge. Ida B. Wells was a bridge. Madame C. J. Walker was a bridge. Fannie Lou Hamer was a bridge.

• 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 I was responsible for myself, and I had to make good.

• My philosophy is that not only are you responsible for your life, but doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment.

• Become the change you want to see - those are words I live by.

• Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody's going to know whether you did it or not.

• The key to realizing a dream is to focus not on success but on significance - and then even the small steps and little victories along your path with take on greater meaning.

• In every aspect of our lives, we are always asking ourselves, How am I of value? What is my worth? Yet I believe that worthiness is our birthright.

• Where there is no struggle, there is no strength.

• The big secret in life is that there is no big secret. Whatever your goal, you can get there if you're willing to work.

• I think education is power. I think that being able to communicate with people is power. One of my main goals on this planet is to encourage people to empower themselves.

• My grandmother taught me to read, and that opened up all kinds of possibilities for me.

• I believe that everyone is the keeper of a dream - and by tuning into one another's secret hopes, we can become better friends, better partners, better parents, and better lovers.

• Unless you choose to do great things with it, it makes no difference how much you are rewarded, or how much power you have.

• I believe that every single event in life happens in an opportunity to choose love over fear.

• Right now you are one choice away from a new beginning -- one that leads you toward becoming the fullest human being you can be.

• You get in life what you have the courage to ask for.

• Follow your instincts. That's where true wisdom manifests itself.

• The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.

• I know that you cannot hate other people without hating yourself.

• Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another steppingstone to greatness.

• I don't believe in failure. It is not failure if you enjoyed the process.

• Turn your wounds into wisdom.

• If you look at what you have in life, you'll always have more. If you look at what you don't have in life, you'll never have enough.

• Everyone wants to ride with you in the limo, but what you need is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.

• Though I'm grateful for the blessings of wealth, it hasn't changed who I am. My feet are still on the ground. I'm just wearing better shoes.

• For everyone of us that succeeds, it's because there's somebody there to show you the way out. The light doesn't always necessarily have to be in your family; for me it was teachers and school.

• Always continue the climb. It is possible for you to do whatever you choose, if you first get to know who you are and are willing to work with a power that is greater than ourselves to do it.

• Don't live your life to please other people.

• It doesn't matter who you are, or where you came from. The ability to triumph begins with you. Always.

• That guy just cut right in front of me. But I'm not going to let it bother me. No. I'm on my way to work and I decided it doesn't matter who wants to cut in front of my lane today. I'm not going to let it bother me one bit. Once I get to work, find myself a parking space, if somebody wants to jump ahead of me and take it, I'm going to let them.

• I was raised to believe that excellence is the best deterrent to racism or sexism. And that's how I operate my life.

• They say getting thin is the best revenge. Success is much better.

• Biology is the least of what makes someone a mother.

• Some of my most comforting memories are of sitting between my grandmother's skirted knees, while she scratched my head and oiled my scalp. It was our ritual, one we performed again and again, right there on the front porch -- as did many a black girl growing up in the South. Today I know enough to know that the comfort was about all I was getting out of our little ritual, because it wasn't doing my hair a bit of good. But it felt great at the time.

• Duct tape is like the force. It has a light side, a dark side, and it holds the universe together.

• My idea of heaven is a great big baked potato and someone to share it with.

• Mr. Right is coming. But he's in Africa and he's walking.

• You can have it all. You just can't have it all at one time.

More Women's Quotes:


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About These Quotes

Quote collection assembled by Jone Johnson Lewis. Each quotation page in this collection and the entire collection © Jone Johnson Lewis 1997-2005. This is an informal collection assembled over many years. I regret that I am not be able to provide the original source if it is not listed with the quote.

Citation information:
Jone Johnson Lewis. "Oprah Winfrey Quotes." About Women's History. URL: http://womenshistory.about.com/cs/quotes/oprah_winfrey.htm . Date accessed: (today). (More on how to cite online sources including this page)

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