I don’t even know where to start when it comes to Oprah—one of the richest and most powerful women in the entertainment industry today.
Talk about a sister I can relate to!
Oprah was born in Mississippi, into extreme poverty (we’re talkin’ potato sacks for dresses, sis … for real. And if you know my story, you know I also know what it’s like to be hungry!). Like me, she was neglected by her mama, who was 18 when she had Oprah and moved away shortly after Oprah’s birth, leaving her in her grandmama’s care as she looked for work.
Oprah also suffered abuse during her childhood and early teens (she was molested beginning at the age of nine … #igetit).
But even more importantly … like me, she also took on her own survival, and smashed the odds stacked against her!!!
When Oprah was six, her grandmama became very ill, so she was sent to live with her mother in Wisconsin. Over the next several years, there was some back and forth between her mother and father, but ultimately, Oprah began acting out in her teenage years and her mother sent her to live with her father at age 14 (yes, she knows what it’s like to be thrown out by your mama, too!). But this is also what turned it all around for her—beginning with landing a job in radio while she was still in high school, girl!
And then, at just 19 years old, she was offered a job as a co-anchor on the local evening news, at Nashville’s CBS affiliate, WTVF-TV, and became Nashville’s first female co-anchor AND the first black co-anchor.
In 1977, she was moved to the daytime talk show arena. After airing the first episode of her show, “People Are Talking,” Oprah said, “I came off the air and said to myself, ‘This is what I should be doing. It’s like breathing.'” The show climbed to #1 on the rating charts.
Because of her success, Chicago-based WLS-TV soon offered her a chance to anchor the station’s floundering talk show “AM Chicago.” She took it, and it became a smash hit – syndicated in 120 cities.
In 1985, producer Quincy Jones offered her a role in the screen adaptation of Alice Walker’s The Color Purple. Winfrey’s acting debut received rave reviews, won her nominations for both a Golden Globe and an Academy Award, and launched her to national stardom.
That’s when “The Oprah Winfrey Show” was born, and within five months, it ranked as the third-highest rated show in syndication and the No. 1 talk show, reaching more than 10 million people in 192 cities, every day! #makinganimpact
She launched her own production company, Harpo Productions Inc., in 1986.
#boom #entrepreneur #millionaireat32
From there, Oprah continued to soar!
She took over ownership and production of “The Oprah Winfrey Show” in 1988.
Within about ten years from that point, Oprah’s talk empire was worth about $415 million, making her the wealthiest sister in show business!
Winfrey has also:
- Had several other acting roles, including her most recent as Mrs. Which in the film adaptation of Madeleine L’Engle‘s novel A Wrinkle in Time.
- Interviewed countless celebrities, including Michael Jackson.
- Co-founded the women’s cable television network Oxygen.
- Co-authored five books, written a memoir, published magazines, and created her own radio channel.
- Donated MILLIONS of dollars to various charities and organizations, mainly: The Angel Network, The Oprah Winfrey Foundation, and The Oprah Winfrey Operating Foundation.
She is, without a doubt, one of the most influential people IN THE WORLD.
She creates movements!
And I love the way her mind works.
Check out this quote about her life:
“I don’t think of myself as a poor, deprived ghetto girl who made good. I think of myself as somebody who from an early age knew she was responsible for herself and I had to make good.”- Oprah Winfrey
And guess what?
I got to MEET her—a lifelong dream of mine!—at Minnie’s Food Pantry’s 10th Annual Feed Just One Gala!
“Follow your instincts. That’s where true wisdom manifests itself.”
Let me tell you, she really is as amazing as she seems!
Check out this talk she gave at the Gala:
She raised 1.3 million for a charity that night! #givingback
She lent her celebrity status to helping others … which is, in my opinion, the motivator for being a Black Woman Millionaire: to help others. To stand for something. Not a handout, but a hand up.
She GIVES as a way of serving the God in all of us, and she makes a MASSIVE impact.
I thank Oprah for being the first black woman billionaire and the richest African-American woman alive! I thank her for setting the bar so high for her sisters, and for proving that we CAN defy impossible!
I thank her for standing for herself AND for her sisters, through her money.
Which celebrity-entrepreneur do YOU admire most? Why?
Post below and let me know!
With all the love my heart can hold…