- first African American syndicated talk show host
- first African American woman billionaire (Forbes, 2003)
- The Oprah Winfrey Show, Harpo Productions, O Magazine, Oxygen Network
- Oprah's Angel Network, Oprah's Book Club
- campaign for the "Oprah Bill" (1993), providing a national database of convicted child abusers
Also known as:
- Father: Vernon Winfrey (coal miner, barber)
- Mother: Vernita Lee (maid)
- Born in Kosciusko, Mississippi, to parents who were not married, Oprah Winfrey moved at age six from her grandmother's Mississippi farm to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with her mother, and at age fourteen to Nashville, Tennessee, to live with her father.
- Oprah Winfrey has never married; her long-time companion is Stedman Graham, a business executive, educator, speaker, and writer. Oprah was pregnant at fourteen but lost the baby soon after birth.
- Tennessee State University (1976)
Acting and Producing:
Among Oprah's Awards:
- 1998 - Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences
- 1999 - 50th anniversary gold medal, National Book Foundation
About Oprah Winfrey:
Excelling in school even with a childhood troubled with rebellion and abuse, Oprah Winfrey received a full college scholarship and won the Miss Black Tennessee contest when she was eighteen. The next year she began to work as a news anchor in Nashville. In 1976, after earning her college degree, she moved to a position with an ABC news affiliate in Baltimore, Maryland, and in 1977 began co-hosting a local morning show.
Oprah Winfrey was hired in 1984 to rescue a failing morning talk show in Chicago, A. M. Chicago. After a quick turnaround in the ratings, it was expanded to an hour and renamed the next year as The Oprah Winfrey Show, and it was syndicated nationally in 1986 -- making Oprah Winfrey the first African American to host a nationally-syndicated talk show.
That year, she formed Harpo Productions, a production company. She acted in or produced a number of movie and television projects. In 2000, she helped found Oxygen Media, Inc., providing cable and interactive programming directed at women.
Oprah's Book Club, begun in 1997, has been responsible for huge sales of the books that she features on her talk show, with major benefits to the publishing industry and to individual writers.