Although Oprah was only one of so many few who was raised from nothing to become one of the most successful women in the world, she says that what you fear has no power unless you let it scare you. Oprah knew many hardships in her life, but was able to overcome them to better herself and her career. One of the most successful African-American women, Oprah Winfrey, has established herself to be one who gives back to charity, displays her influence over the entertainment industry, as well as changing many lives throughout her lifetime.Childhood
Oprah experienced unimaginable horrors during her childhood, she had been raped at the age of nine as well as molested by her cousin, uncle, and a family friend. She ran away from home at the age of thirteen and was sent to a juvenile detention home, but denied admittance because all the rooms were occupied. She became pregnant at the age of fourteen, and because she felt it was not right to have an abortion, she decided to keep the baby. She had given birth to a beautiful baby boy who later passed away due to complications. Her mother sent her to live in Nashville, Tennessee with her father, Vernon Winfrey. “Winfrey said her father saved her life. He was very strict and provided her with guidance, structure, rules, and books. He required his daughter to complete weekly book reports, and she went without dinner until she learned five new vocabulary words each day. Winfrey became an excellent student, participating in the drama club, debate club, and student council”. Vernon required her to read and write a book report each week during her stay. She won an oratory contest at her high school, which ultimately secured her a spot at Tennessee University.
She caught the attention of a local radio station, WVOL, which hired her part-time as a news reporter. Oprah was both the youngest and first African American female news anchor at Nashville’s WLAC-TV. She later moved to Baltimore’s WJZ-TV to report the six o’clock news. In 1976, she hosted the TV show called People Are Talking. The show became a one-hit wonder and she stayed with it for eight years. Winfrey’s warm-hearted personality had won her first show in the ratings. Her success landed her a role in Steven Spielberg’s 1985 film The Color Purple. Winfrey was nominated best supporting actress for the film. “In September of 1986, The Oprah Winfrey Show made its national début, entering the talk-show wars in earnest. Within five months, it was the third-highest show in the ratings–after the game shows Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy!–and the number one talk show, reaching between nine and ten million people daily in 192 cities at that time”. The show really took off Oprah’s daytime career helping her become one of the most influential women of her time, focusing the show on everyday people instead of the notable celebrities in Hollywood. During the 12th season of The Oprah Winfrey Show, Winfrey confessed she was ‘exhausted’ of the show and wanted to end the series. She realized she was an admired black woman with a great deal of influence and that she could make a positive difference in the world. Winfrey Decided to continue the show with the mindset of living the best life you possibly can.
Projects and Awards
In 1996, she launched ‘Oprah’s Book Club’, the show was meant for her fans to come together reading books every month chosen by Oprah herself. The books, clubs popularity, many obscure book titles sold millions of copies that they wouldn’t have on their own. In 2011, the book club, as well as the Oprah Winfrey show came to an end as Winfrey thought she could not find new interesting topics and books worth the talk. In 1993, she conducted an interview with Celebrity singer, Michael Jackson on the Oprah Winfrey Show. The episode became a hit and the most watched interview ever. It was one of her most watched show during her 15 years running the show. In 2002, she released “O” the Oprah Magazine’ which It was seen as the most successful magazine start-up ever in history. During the last presidential election in 2008, she decided to endorse a running candidate, Barack Obama. The endorsement played a key role in the election, which some say conclusively led Obama to his success. Oprah received fourteen Emmys for the best talk show host for the Oprah Winfrey Show as well as the Lifetime Achievement Award in 1998 with a win of Chairman in 2011. As well as being nominated for three Academy Awards along with Two Tony Awards taking home two wins. All concluding with a grand total of twenty-six nominations and eighteen wins for her longtime running show the Oprah Winfrey Show.
Oprah Winfrey used her talk show to promote The Angel Network, a charity focused on having people become involved in world issues. 100 percent of any donation would go directly into funding any project they were working on at the time. Winfrey herself paid all the operating costs for The Angel Network. The Network did many things such as Giving access to education who may otherwise not have access to, developing leaders who will benefit their communities, protecting the basic human rights, and creating communities that offer support to anyone in need. Winfrey runs The Oprah Winfrey Foundation directly. She exclusively gives money to non-profit organizations so that they may continue the good work they’re doing. Winfrey uses her personal money to give to charities, which helps projects of special interest develop. The organization will not accept any donations from anyone, Winfrey instead, chooses certain foundations to give millions to help out. The Foundation has given away over 190 million dollars to many charities all around the world. ” A Plano, Texas woman is putting her four Oprah Winfrey show tickets up for auction on eBay to help the needy… could buy a week’s worth of groceries for several needy families. Jackson, who says she’s Oprah’s Number one fan, paid $185 each for her tickets Wednesday.”
Clearly, Oprah Winfrey is one of the most successful African American Women in the world as she has established her disposition to give back to charity, and has displayed her influence over the entertainment industry, as well as changing many lives throughout her lifetime. Came from a terrible background, including being raped, as well as having to leave her home and starting all over again. She was able to turn her life around by going to college and majoring in a career she would later love. Really took off Oprah’s career leading her to new heights and more open doors. One of the most famous Tv shows of all time. Oprah was able to start her own book club, magazine, and talk show while all staying humble and caring at the same time, which not many celebrities can handle. Oprah was nominated for more than 28 Emmys, as well as influencing many American lives. Opening over two different charities, Oprah has helped over 1 million families in need throughout the world by giving them the education, food, and protection that they may not have otherwise. Although it is a foundation, Oprah has given more of her own money that any donations she could ever accept. “I’ve come to believe that each of us has a personal calling that’s as unique as a fingerprint – and that the best way to succeed is to discover what you love and then find a way to offer it to others in the form of service, working hard, and allowing the energy of the universe to lead you. “― Oprah Winfrey