Oprah Gail Winfrey
|Also known as:||Oprah|
|Born:||January 29, 1954|
Kosciusko, Mississippi, United States
Oprah Gail Winfrey (born January 29, 1954) is an American media personality, Academy Award nominated actress, producer, and magazine publisher, best known for her self-titled, multi-award winning talk show, which has become the highest-rated program of its kind in history. She has been ranked the richest African American of the 20th century, the most philanthropic African American of all time, and was once the world's only black billionaire. She is also, according to some assessments, the most influential woman in the world.
Winfrey was born into poverty in rural Mississippi to a teenage single mother and later raised in an inner city Milwaukee neighborhood. She experienced considerable hardship during her childhood, including being raped at age 9 and becoming pregnant at age 14. Tragedy followed as her son died in infancy. Sent to live with the man she calls her father, a barber in Tennessee, Winfrey landed a job in radio while still in high school and began co-anchoring the local evening news at the age of 19. Her emotional ad-lib delivery eventually got her transferred 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, she is thought to have popularized and revolutionized the tabloid talk show genre pioneered by Phil Donahue, which a Yale study claimed broke 20th century taboos and allowed LGBT people to enter the mainstream. By the mid 1990s she had reinvented her show with a focus on literature, self-improvement, and spirituality. Though criticized for unleashing confession culture and promoting controversial self-help fads, she is generally admired for overcoming adversity to become a benefactor to others. In 2006 she became an early supporter of Barack Obama and one analysis estimates she delivered over a million votes in the close 2008 Democratic primary race, an achievement for which the governor of Illinois considered offering her a seat in the U.S. senate.
- Oprah Winfrey signs with King World Productions for new three-year contract to continue as host and producer of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" through 2010-2011. King World Productions (2004-08-04). Retrieved on 2006-07-13.
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- Oprah Winfrey the richest black person in the world. African Echo Vol. 43, 2006-09-11. Retrieved 2006-09-11
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- Malonson, Roy Douglas (2006-05-10). Condi and Oprah aren’t good role models for Black motherhood. African-American News & Issues. Retrieved on 2008-08-25.
- Usborne, David (2007-01-03). Oprah's £20m school proves she's not all talk. Independent News and Media. Retrieved on 2007-03-04.
- Oprah brings Tolle's 'Earth' to the classroom - USATODAY.com
- Meldrum Henley-on-Klip, Andrew (2007-01-03). 'Their story is my story' Oprah opens $40m school for South African girls. Guardian Unlimited. Retrieved on 2007-03-04.
- Doyle, Leonard (2007-09-07). Oprah throws house party to aid Obama bid. The Independent. Retrieved on 2008-02-08.
- The most influential US liberals: 1-20 - Telegraph
- Mowbray, Nicole (2003-03-02). Oprah's path to power. Guardian Unlimited. Retrieved on 2008-08-25.
- Oprah Winfrey TV Show Bio History Life Story Email Address Write Ophra
- Tannen, Deborah (1998-06-08). Oprah Winfrey. The TIME 100. TIME. Retrieved on 2008-08-25.
- An interview and excerpt from Freaks Talk Back. University of Chicago Press. Retrieved on 2008-08-25.
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- Steven, By. "So Much for One Person, One Vote - Freakonomics Blog - NYTimes.com", Freakonomics.blogs.nytimes.com, August 6, 2008. Retrieved on 2008-11-30.