Oprah Gail Winfrey, also known as Oprah Winfrey, is an American media proprietor, talk show host, actress, producer, and philanthropist. A woman with strong and dedicated personality born in 1954 in Kosciusko, Mississippi. She is the Founder of Harpo Productions Inc that was founded in 1986. She has currently the net worth of whopping 2.9 billion USD (2017) which makes her the top 10 and most powerful entrepreneur in the list of Forbes.
Her parents were unmarried and wandered elsewhere after her birth. She was living with her grandmother, quite strict but loving disciplinarian person. Winfrey credits her outing and mature personality to her grandmother. Winfrey learned to read by the age of 2 and her speaking skills began to prominent when she was only 3 years old. Oprah was very talented at such young age that she was often invited to render poetry at social clubs, where she was referred as the little speaker.
Oprah Winfrey is also knows as the queen of talk and she defeated poverty, parental neglect, sexual abuse and racism to become one of the richest, strong and powerful women in the world. She believes in being herself and her personality supports her believe.
“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
At age 6, Winfrey moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to live with her mother, who was working as a domestic. It was difficult for Oprah to adjust in urban because she was used to the peace and calm environment of Mississippi farm. Winfrey felt ignored and neglected most of the time because her mother engaged in her own problems all the time and she had no time for Winfrey. When Winfrey was 9 she was sexually abused by different men including her mother’s boyfriend. She shared this story with audience during a show which made her burst into tears.
Winfrey was ashamed, miserable and afraid to tell anyone about the what she is been going through and she began acting weird. Her increasing truculent and misbehavior was too much for her mother to handle and she tried to take Winfrey to detention center but due to lack of beds she couldn’t stay there. Winfrey was sent to her father in Nashville, Tennessee. Her father changed her way of life and Winfrey said that “My father turned my life around by insisting that I be more than I was and by believing I could be more,” Winfrey told Good Housekeeping magazine. “His love of learning showed me the way.”
Winfrey learnt to live differently in her father’s guidance and become an honor student where she discovered her flair for public speaking again. Her amazing speaking skills earned her a scholarship to Tennessee state university where her majors were speech and drama. In 1983, Winfrey was offered a job as co news anchor in Nashville’s CBS affiliate, WTVF-TV, and become the first female anchor in Nashville and also the first black co-anchor in the world.
With her ascending success, Oprah left college in her senior year to take the position in Baltimore with WJZ-TV as co-anchor for the evening news. But it was difficult for her to telecast hard news however soon she founded out that hard news is difficult for her to telecast and she at times burst into tears while reporting emotional stories and she was unable to get past this emotional part, she was fired later. In 1977, one of the famous late 1990 show “People are talking’ aired with Winfrey as co-host. Oprah was successful in noticing her niche and her ability to connect rationally and emotionally with a wide variety of topics made the show an immediate and rapid success. “I came off the air,” she says of her first show, “and said to myself, ‘This is what I should be doing. It’s like breathing.’
People Are Talking and break through time
“People Are Talking” climbed up the ratings chart and suddenly become the peak show of its genre in the Baltimore market. In just five months the show became the third-highest rated show and also the No. 1 talk show outreach to 10 million people every day in 192 cities. Although Winfrey’s biggest break came in 1985, when she was offered the role in screen adaption of Alice walker’s The color purple, she won nomination for both golden globe and academy awards because of her significant acting skills.
To further talk about her success, in 1986 Winfrey founded Harpo (Oprah spelled backwards) productions Inc. in 1988 she bought a state of the art production studio in Chicago and acquire the ownership and production of the Oprah Winfrey show. This made Oprah Winfrey the third woman in the history to own and produce her own show and the first African American to have her own entertainment production company. In 1990 talk shows started become a common thing but Winfrey ratings continued to rise despite the tough competition. One reason for her success was that she has avoided the tabloid and exploitation topics which many other competitors adopted.
By the end of the 1990s, Winfrey’s $415 million that had made her the wealthiest woman in show business and one of the most powerful person in the television industry. Her idea for success is simple: “Follow your instincts,” she says in a Ladies Home Journal magazine article. “That’s where true wisdom manifests itself.”
One bad day
During her co-anchoring the evening news in Baltimore, an assistant news director said that her hair was too think and she went to the expensive new York city salon for a makeover with disaster result. . A botched permanent left her completely but temporarily bald, and Although she cried “constantly,” she found in the ordeal an opportunity for self-discovery, admitting in a Ms. magazine interview, “You learn a lot about yourself when you’re bald.”
The Oprah Winfrey show has its placement on more than 120 channels and with the audience of 10 million people grossed $125 million in its first year, of which Winfrey received $30 million. In 2002, she had a deal with the network to telecast it at prime-time attraction as complement to her syndicated talk show. Her very successful monthly, The Oprah Magazine launched in 2000 and in 2004, she agreed and signed a new contract to continue The Oprah Winfrey Show through the 2010-11 season. Now syndicated, the show is viewed to nearly 212 U.S. stations and in 100 countries worldwide.
In March 2015, Winfrey announced that her Chicago-based Harpo Studios would close at the end of the year to strengthen the company’s production operations to the Los Angeles-based OWN headquarters. “The time had come to downsize this part of the business and to move forward. It will be sad to say goodbye,” said Winfrey, “but I look ahead with such a knowing that what the future holds is even more than I can see.”
According to Forbes magazine, Oprah Winfrey is the richest African American of the 20th century and the world’s first Black billionaire for three years running. Life magazine honored her as the most influential woman of her generation. In 2005, Business Week has named her the greatest Black philanthropist in American history. Oprah’s Angel Network has raised more than $51,000,000 for charitable programs, including girls’ education in South Africa and relief to the victims of Hurricane Katrina. In January 2017, CBS announced that Winfrey will join the news magazine 60 Minutes as a special contributor in the fall.
It is alright If you fail at times or you did not have the best possible start because if we keep trying and working hard to make our dreams successful then we will surely reach at our destined one day. Everyone is different and we all need to find our strengthens and work on them.