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The lives of Remarkable Women

Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey is the first black woman who got into the list of the richest people in the world according to Forbes magazine.

Oprah Winfrey was born on January 29, 1954 in a small town of Kosciusko, Mississippi. At birth Oprah got the name Orpah in honor of the Bible person, but according to her words, it was difficult for her friends and relatives to pronounce the name Orpha, that’s why she decided to change it.

Oprah’s mother Vernita Lee was a chambermaid, and her father Vernon Winfrey worked as a miner, then he was a barber, and then he became a member of the Town Council. Oprah’s parents were not married officially. When Oprah was two, her grandmother began to teach her how to read and write.

At the age of six Oprah’s mother Vernita took her with her stepsister and stepbrother from their grandmother, and together they moved to the ghetto area of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In Milwaukee Oprah spent two years, and it was the place, where she started to speak in public and participate in poetry contests, which took place at church gatherings and public clubs. Two years later, her father offered to move to his place in Nashville, to the south. Oprah spent with her father two years only, and after that her mother made her to move back to Milwaukee. Despite the complicated life, poverty and indignities, which were a common thing in the ghetto, Oprah went to school at the age of twelve. However, after a year, being unable to bear mockery, she stole some money from her mother and ran away from home. She asked her reverend to help, but he took her back home. Mother was mad at Oprah and kick her out of the house. Oprah found herself in the shelter for troubled teenagers. In the age of fourteen she got pregnant, and father decided to take her from the shelter, so she returned to Nashville. Oprah’s child died shortly after birth.

Oprah’s father was a strict man, so he made his daughter continue education. The girl began to learn the art of rhetoric, and succeeded. At the age of sixteen Oprah won a rhetoric competition, which took place in the Elks Club, and she was able to enter the Tennessee University.

Studying at the university in 1971, Oprah became a participant of Miss Black America contest. Shortly after the contest she became the first black woman who was an assistant of the evening news analyst. After nine months of working at the TV channel, she was fired because of excessive sentimentality, but Oprah got a new offer. In 1976 she found a job at WJZ-TV channel, where she became a co-host of a morning show “People are talking”. After Oprah took place of a co-host, channel rating moved upwards. Then, in 1983 Oprah became a newscaster of the Morning Chicago News.

In 1985 Oprah was shot in Spielberg’s movie “The Purple Color” for the first time. She got the Oskar and the Gold Globe awards for this role.

The Oprah Winfrey Show appeared on TV in 1986 and it became widely popular. This very show helped Oprah to become world-famous and made her the richest woman in the world.

By 1993 Oprah’s show had been the most popular in the USA and was broadcasted to 64 countries. The profit from the show was about $100 million; half of this sum was Oprah’s earnings.

In 2002 Oprah’s show got into the list of the 50 greatest shows in the history of America, according to TV Guide.

In 2011 Oprah decided to close her show at the peak of popularity and opened her own channel Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN).

Currently Oprah is doing business actively, she owns a media company.

For 20 years Oprah has been living with her civil husband Stedman Graham.