Oprah Winfrey, born on January 29, 1954, started her media career at the W.V.O.L. radio station in Nashville at the age of 17. While at the radio station, she won a scholarship to Tennessee State University. Young Winfrey would grow older to become the first black female billionaire. Her stellar career as a talk show host would not surprise those who knew her as a kid. As a kid, she would have conversations with crows and corn cobs. Winfrey, a black female, became a force to be reckoned with in a white-male-dominated field. Let’s celebrate this shining star’s birthday.
|Oprah Gail Winfrey
|January 29, 1954
Oprah Gail Winfrey was born to young Vernita Lee in Kosciusko, Mississippi. Her father was Vernon Winfrey, a former miner and barber. Her mother was a teenager when she had her. As a result, her grandmother, Hattie Lee, had to raise her. Winfrey’s childhood was filled with poverty. Her grandmother was very religious and taught her how to read before she turned three. Hattie also taught her how to be a confident speaker. Winfrey was an exceptional student and while in high school, she was transferred to a better school through the Upward Bound program. The transfer was to improve her chances of getting into college.
At 17, she joined W.V.O.L., a local black radio station. Later, she switched to television by joining Nashville’s WLAC-TV (now WTVF). She relocated to Chicago in 1984 to host “AM Chicago.” She transformed the AM Chicago show, and within a few months, the show went from being poorly rated to becoming one of the best shows in Chicago. In 1986, she renegotiated the rights to the AM Chicago show, which was then renamed “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” The deal made her a millionaire. She has interviewed many notable celebrities, and her interview with Michael Jackson in 1993 is one of the most-watched interviews of all time.
- 1984: Oprah Winfrey begins hosting “AM Chicago”
- 1986: “The Oprah Winfrey Show” is born
- 1993: Oprah Winfrey interviews Michael Jackson
- 2003: Oprah Winfrey’s net worth hits a billion dollars
- 2011: “The Oprah Winfrey Show” discontinues
Why We Love Oprah Winfrey
- She fights against child abuse
- She funds battered women’s shelters
- She is a committed philanthropist
5 Surprising Facts
- Winfrey’s birth name was Orpah
- She won the Miss Black Tennessee pageant
- She is the richest black woman
- She was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom
- She anchored the news at 19
Frequently Asked Questions
Did Oprah Winfrey have a child at 14?
Yes, she was sexually abused as a child. She had a son who died because he was born prematurely.
Why is Oprah Winfrey important?
She is one of the most influential women in America. She is also very wealthy.
How is Oprah Winfrey a billionaire?
She made her money from her Oprah Winfrey Network and other investments.
When is Oprah Winfrey’s birthday?
Oprah Winfrey’s birthday is on January 29th.
How old is Oprah Winfrey?
As of October 2023, Oprah Winfrey is 69 years old.