Here is your short essay on Oprah Winfrey !
“Oprah Winfrey” The Famous American media proprietor gained immense popularity owing to her talk show titled” The Oprah Winfrey Show” which made records of most rated T.V. program in the history. She has also been a great actress, philanthropist besides being an excellent producer. Her African-American identity accompanied by her billionaire status is why she outshines as an influential person.
Oprah Winfrey’s life was not a smooth track to begin with. Her childhood was full of hardships including being raped at an early age of nine. She was born in a poor family and it is even said that her mother was a single teenager who had not enough resources to provide her basic amenities like food and clothing. Her mother worked as a housemaid and her father was a barber, who previously worked as a coal miner.
Even though male relatives had molested Winfrey when she was nine, her family didn’t believe her. Her mother gave birth to 3 children, 2 girls and 1 boy after Winfrey’s birth two of which died with severe illness. Winfrey was pregnant at the age of 14 after she had run away from home tired of the abuse. Poverty didn’t change for any good even after she started attending the London High School.
After moving to her father, Vernon, she joined the State University of Tennessee and began working at a radio station where she co-anchored an evening local news program. She had such a potential that a third grade Chicago talk show which she hosted became top rated in a very short period of time. Her other early achievements included winning a beauty pageant at the age of 17.The interest and focus of the tabloid talk show shifted from encouraging the LGBT people into the mainstream to promoting literature, spirituality and teaching self-improvement.
Oprah Winfrey considers her grandmother to have a key influence in encouraging her towards public speaking. Becoming the first youngest as well as first black female anchor at the local news channel showcased her excellent interviewing and vocal skills. Winfrey didn’t only make her mark as an influential person in the media industry but her announcement of the Oprah Winfrey Network in collaboration with the Discovery Communications was another significant achievement. OWN earned billions of revenue through the talk show hosted by Winfrey with American cyclist, Lance Armstrong who had admitted his use of performance improving substances openly on the show after all his seven titles had been taken back in 2012 due to doping and the show was aired.
Oprah was declared as the richest African American who was a billionaire for three decades by the Forbes Magazine. Even the Business Week magazine acclaimed her as the greatest philanthropist amongst the Blacks in year 2008.
Charity has been motivated towards doing charity and staying a devoted activist for child rights. She moved a proposal to the Congress which was enforced into a law by Clinton in 1994 in order to create a database of all child abusers in the nation. Oprah is a woman who has earned great respect and fame as a media giant in spite of hardships that she faced as a child and teenager.
Oprah Winfrey (1954 – ) Influential talk show host, author, philanthropist, actress and media personality. Oprah Winfrey has played a key role in modern American life, shaping cultural trends and promoting various liberal causes. Through her talk shows and books, she has focused on many issues facing American women. She has been an important role model for black American women, breaking down many invisible barriers.
“The biggest adventure you can ever take is to live the life of your dreams.”
– Oprah Winfrey
Oprah Winfrey was born in Kosciusko, Mississippi. Her parents were unmarried and separated soon after conception. Oprah had a difficult childhood. She lived in great poverty and often had to dress in potato sacks for which she was mocked at school. She was also sexually abused at an early age.
“Turn your wounds into wisdom.”
– Oprah Winfrey
From the age of 14, she went to live with her father. Oprah says he was strict, but she was in the mood to be disobedient during her teenage years. After working her way through college, she became interested in journalism and media and got her first job as a news anchor for a local TV station.
Her emotional style did not go down well for a news programme, so she was transferred to an ailing daytime chat programme. After Oprah had taken over, the daily chat show took off, and this later led to her own programme – The Oprah Winfrey Show.
The Oprah Winfrey show has proved to be one of the most successful and highly watched TV show of all time. It has broken many social and cultural barriers such as gay and lesbian issues. Oprah has also remained a powerful role model for women and black American women in particular. She is credited with promoting an intimate confessional form of media communication, which has been imitated across the globe.
In recent years, the Oprah Winfrey show has focused on issues of self-improvement, spirituality and self-help. Diet has also been a big issue with Oprah once successfully losing a lot of weight. Her subsequent diet book sold millions of copies.
Oprah Winfrey has promoted many spiritual books, which have focused on the aspect of taking responsibility for your life – not changing your circumstances, but changing the way you look at your life.
“What I learned at a very early age was that I was responsible for my life. And as I became more spiritually conscious, I learned that we all are responsible for ourselves, that you create your own reality by the way you think and therefore act. You cannot blame apartheid, your parents, your circumstances, because you are not your circumstances. You are your possibilities. If you know that, you can do anything.”
– O Magazine (January 2007), pages 160 & 217
Her range of media enterprises have made Oprah one of the richest self-made women. The Forbes’ international rich list has listed Winfrey as the world’s only black billionaire from 2004 to 2006 and as the first black woman billionaire in world history.In 2014 Winfrey has a net worth of more than 2.9 billion dollars.
The Oprah Winfrey book club has become the most influential book clubs in the world. A recommendation from Oprah Winfrey frequently sends books to the top of the best-seller lists. Many commentators agree that Oprah Winfrey exerts enormous influence. Some estimated her support for Barack Obama helped him gain one million votes in the 2008 election.
As Vanity Fair said of Oprah Winfrey:
“Oprah Winfrey arguably has more influence on the culture than any university president, politician, or religious leader, except perhaps the Pope”
Oprah Winfrey was also nominated for an Oscar in the film – A Color Purple. Produced by Steven Spielberg, the epic Color Purple told of segregation in America’s deep south. Oprah was widely admired for her role as Sofia.
Support for Obama
From 2006 to 2008, she lent her support to the Presidential campaign of Barack Obama. Her influence and personal following played a key role in helping Obama to become the first African-American to become president.
In 2013, Oprah gained a unique interview with the professional cyclist, Lance Armstrong. It was on Oprah that Armstrong finally made a dramatic confession that he had used performance-enhancing drugs during his cycling career.
Oprah Winfrey has been critical of the presidency of Donald Trump and on various occasions has hinted she would be interested in the possibility of running as a Democrat for president. However, she later clarified her view and says a presidential bid is unlikely because
“I’ve always felt very secure and confident with myself in knowing what I could do and what I could not,” she told the magazine. “And so it’s not something that interests me. I don’t have the DNA for it.” CNN
Citation: Pettinger, Tejvan. “Biography of Oprah Winfrey”, Oxford, UK www.biographyonline.net, 25th Jan. 2013. Last updated 5 March 2018.
The Oprah Winfrey Show: Reflections on an American Legacy
Oprah Winfrey at Amazon
The Wisdom of Sundays: Life-Changing Insights from Super Soul Conversations by Oprah Winfrey at Amazon
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