Biography of Oprah Winfrey

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Oprah Gail Winfrey, a famous black writer, talk show host, and actress, was born on January 29, 1954, in Kosciusko, Mississippi .She was born to unwed, teenage parents. Her mother Vernita Lee was eighteen and a housemaid. Her father Vernon Winfrey was twenty and in the armed forces. Winfrey was named Orpah from the Book of Ruth in the Bible, but her name was later changed to Oprah because it was easier to pronounce. As a youth, Winfrey moved to Milwaukee to live with her mother. Her mother's lack of supervision enabled several male relatives and friends to sexually abuse Winfrey. The abuse caused Winfrey to run away on many occasions. Winfrey then started to makeup stories to get her mother's attention. At age fourteen, she gave birth to a premature baby, who died shortly after birth. Oprah was then given an ultimatum, either live with her father and his wife in Nashville, or be sent to a juvenile detention center. All the beds were full, so as a last resort, she was sent to Nashville to live under her father's strict discipline. Vernon Winfrey saw to it that his daughter met a midnight curfew, and he required her to read a book and write a book report each week. "As strict as he was," says Oprah, "he had some concerns about me making the best of my life, and would not accept anything less than what he thought was my best." Her father provided her with the discipline that was lacking in his daughter's life. Oprah states, "If I hadn't been sent to my father, I would have gone in another direction." He gave her a strict curfew and stressed the value of education; under his rule, Oprah turned her life around. She continues, "I could have made a good criminal. I would have used these same instincts differently" At age nineteen, Winfrey landed her first job as a reporter at WVOL radio station in Nashville. Shortly afterward, she enrolled at Tennessee State University in Nashville. During her freshman year, Winfrey won several pageants, including "Miss Black...
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