Oprah Winfrey is a talk show host, media executive, actress, and philanthropist who is commonly known for her past talk show called The Oprah Winfrey Show. Winfrey was born in Kosciusko, Mississippi, on January 29, 1954, but moved to Nashville where her broadcasting career started after being sexually assaulted by relatives at a young age. After college at Tennessee State, Winfrey moved to Maryland where she hosted People are Talking, later being recruited to host for A.M. Chicago. Winfrey started her popular show The Oprah Winfrey Show in 1986, later receiving ownership of the program and starting a new production company called “Harpo”. In March 2015, Winfrey stated, “The time had come to downsize this part of the business and to move forward,” which led to her career as an actress.
Winfrey has had many successful moments in her career. For example, Winfrey was the richest African American of the 20th century along with being the only black billionaire for three years according to Forbes Magazine. In November 2013, Winfrey was given the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama for her actions towards this country. Back in 2005, Business Week named Winfrey the greatest black philanthropist in American history and decided to donate more than $50 million to different charities. Even in 2018 after a devastating shooting in a Florida school which left 17 dead, Winfrey donated $500,000 to the March for Our Lives.
In 20018, Winfrey was awarded the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the Golden Globes for lifetime achievement and was the first African American to receive the award ever. At the Golden Globes Winfrey even gave a heartfelt speech about her past and culture being broken by powerful men and how some great people will hopefully become the leaders of today. Some of Winfrey’s more known shows/movies she has been in are The Color Purple, 60 Minutes, A Wrinkle in Time, Drake and Josh, Lee Daniels’ The Butler, and Charlotte's Web. For a while Winfrey struggled with her weight, she even basically starved herself at one point. Winfrey states that she lost weight from starvation but quickly gained all of it back but in 1988 she started changing her diet. Something you may not know about Oprah is that she has about 7 or 8 different houses in different states from places like California even to Indiana. One of the most-watched television events was done by Oprah while she interviewed singer Michael Jackson and was broadcast at Jackson's home with 90 million viewers. Winfrey’s real first name was Orpah but there was confusion on how to pronounce her name correctly so her name was changed.
Her aunt chose the name Orpah from the bible but Winfrey mentions she was glad to have the spelling changed. In 1993 President Bill Clinton awarded Oprah by signing into law the “Oprah Bill,” relating to her 1991 testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee advocating for a national database to search for child abusers. The bill creates a national criminal history background check system but is also referred to as the National Child Protection Act. In more recent years events she also donated $1 million to America’s Food Fund to alleviate food insecurity; the rest will be donated to other groups helping Americans during the pandemic.
Oprah decided to make a deal with Apple and made a 1 season series called the Oprah Conversation. The series is about her having “intimate discussions with today’s newsmakers, thought leaders, and masters of their craft”. The difference between Oprah and her talk show is that she isn’t a comedian like the others today. Most of Winfrey's work is serious conversation and advice while most talk show hosts perform comedic acts for their shows. In conclusion, Oprah Winfrey has done so much for others, even though her childhood was rough, and she will always be remembered for her kindness.