Oprah Winfrey is an American talk show host, actress, producer and philanthropist. She was born on January 29, 1954, into poverty by a single teen mom and was raised in an inner-city Milwaukee neighborhood. 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. Eventually, Oprah took over the daily talk show called "A.M. Chicago", which had very low ratings. This show was renamed a year later to "The Oprah Winfrey Show" and became one of the most popular daytime talk shows of all time.
With the launch of The Oprah Winfrey Show, Oprah became one of the most famous people in the country. Over 10 million people watched her show every day. Oprah also made a lot of money. Her show made $125 million the first year and Oprah's income was $30 million.
Birth date: January 29, 1954
Birth place: Kosciusko, Mississippi
Birth name: Oprah Gail Winfrey
Father: Vernon Winfrey, a barber
Mother: Vernita Lee, a maid (parents never married)
Education: Tennessee State University, B.A., Speech and Performing Arts, 1976
There are a few little known facts about Oprah that made her who she is today.
- Winfrey's mother was an unwed teen. Oprah had a few other siblings, including Patricia Lee who Oprah's mother gave up for adoption. Oprah has only recently found her long-lost sister Patricia and she was a guest on The Oprah Winfrey Show.
- Oprah's family was poor growing up, and as a child Oprah was teased at school for wearing dresses made out of potato sacks.
- At the age of 9, Oprah was raped by her 19-year-old cousin who was babysitting her. Oprah was later sexually abused by her cousin, a family friend, her mother's boyfriend, and her uncle.
- Oprah was pregnant at 14, but the baby was premature and died as an infant.
- Oprah Winfrey is the first black woman billionaire and the richest African-American woman. She is also considered to be one of the most influential women in the world.
- Oprah was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2013 by President Barack Obama.
Why Oprah is a role model
Oprah is a woman who came from an abusive childhood, survived various sexual assaults and a teen pregnancy, yet she is one of the most influential people in the world today. She is an actress, television host, producer, and philanthropist. She stands up for what she believes in when she wants something to change, and that is why she should be emulated. She is selfless and dedicated, which can't be said for most celebrities teens look up to.