An American media executive, talk show host, television producer and philanthropist, Oprah Winfrey is the richest African- American of the 20th century, North America’s first black multi-billionaire and greatest black philanthropist in American history. Her success looks magnificent and so was her journey to it.
In today’s story, we will have a deeper look into the life of the ‘world’s most influential woman’ to find out the twists and turns which led her from wearing dresses made up of potato sacks due to poverty to have a net worth of $2 billion today.
Born in Mississippi to a teenage mother, Oprah spent the first six years of her life with her maternal grandmother. She learnt to read before three and recited ‘Bible Verses’ in a local church. Later, she shifted with her mother who was a housemaid. She was continuously molested by her uncle, a cousin and a family friend for many years till she was 14. She was too young to explain what was happening. At 14, she got pregnant and ended up giving birth to a premature baby who died two weeks later. She was laughed at by other children due to poverty and she began to steal money from her mother to avoid this. Frustrated by these things, her mother sent her to her father who was strict, encouraging and saw her education as a priority. This was the eureka moment of her life. After completing high school, she won an oratory contest and secured a full scholarship to Tennessee State University where she studied communication.
Then, Oprah co-hosted some of the local talk shows and gradually, her show ‘AM Chicago’ went from last to first ratings. Then, she got her own show, ‘The Oprah Winfrey Show’ and then her own channel called ‘OWN’. Now she has a partnership with popular companies like Apple. She has been featured in many movies and has lent her voice to many characters. She brought LGBT people to mainstream and her emotion centred approach is loved by everyone.
She strongly believes ‘turn your wounds to wisdom’. Legends like Oprah prove time and again that no matter how hard life gets but when you survive you emerge out just being stronger.