Oprah Winfrey

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.

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.

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.

Oprah Winfrey
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