Oprah Winfrey

"Pay attention to what makes you feel energized, connected, and stimulated. Follow your intuition, do what you love, and you will do more than succeed. You will soar."

Oprah Winfrey, American media mogul, 1954-present

Oprah Winfrey’s accomplishments as a global media leader and philanthropist have established her as one of the most respected and admired public figures today. Her meteoric rise from humble beginnings in Mississippi to global renown is testament to her incredible drive, vision and charisma. As a trailblazer for women in the media, she founded her own TV station, Oprah Winfrey Network, as a joint-venture at the pinnacle of a business career that broke hundreds of boundaries. She is the first Black female billionaire in the world, and Forbes named her the wealthiest African-American of the 20th Century for three years running.

Winfrey left home after a sexually abusive childhood to live with her father in Nashville. After studying at Tennessee State University, she broke into broadcasting. Relocating to Chicago, her morning show beat out Phil Donahue in ratings, launching her on the trajectory to The Oprah Winfrey Show that would run for 25 years. Always business savvy, she bought the rights to the show from the network, earning millions in global syndications. Unlike other talk shows, she gained respect from her viewers for staying away from tabloid topics, focussing instead on women’s issues, her famous book club, life-changing giveaways and heartfelt interviews.

Her magnetism and versatility are evidenced in her acting career, most memorably in The Color Purple. Winfrey’s well-publicised weight-loss struggles make her relatable to women everywhere, while her business accomplishments (like buying a stake in Weight Watchers and rebranding it) make her aspirational. She employs a Master rosarian to tend to her rose garden with 600 varieties, including her favorite Brass Band rose with a hint of orange. She has been hailed as the most influential woman of the 20th Century by Life magazine.


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