Oprah Winfrey

charleene, 24 August 2008, No comments
Categories: Civil Rights


Oprah Winfrey (1954 – ?) is the first African American woman to become a billionaire. She was born in Kosciusko, Mississippi, and at the age of thirteen, she ran away due to abuse. She moved in with her father, who strictly enforced her education. She began her career as a broadcaster, and after attending Tennessee State University, she moved to Chicago to host a faltering talk show. Within one year, the show had risen to number one. They then renamed it “The Oprah Winfrey Show”. The show won five Daytime Emmy Awards its first year of eligibility. As an actress, she was nominated for both an Oscar and a Golden Globe Award in the category of Best Supporting Actress for her portrayal in 1985’s The Color Purple. In 1986, Oprah opened her own production company to produce film, video, and television. She is the first woman in history to own and produce her own talk show. In 1991, inspired by her own child abuse, Oprah campaigned to establish a national database of convicted child abusers, and in 1993 President Clinton signed the “Oprah Bill” into law. In 1998, she received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. She began an on air book club, whose selections became instant bestsellers. In 1999, she was presented with the National Book Foundation’s 50th anniversary gold medal for her service to books and authors. She has won an impressive amount of awards and honors throughout her years. In 2007, Oprah opened a school entitled the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa. The Academy is a 28 building state-of-the-art, independent school for African American girls from all nine South African provinces. Oprah chose the students herself, looking specifically for girls who showed outstanding promise despite their impoverished backgrounds and social circumstances. Oprah has been identified as one of the most powerful and influential people in the world. Her humanitarian efforts have also made her one of the most well respected.


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