October 31, 2011
Dr. Brian Hawkins
Life Span Development and Personality Paper on Oprah Winfrey
Oprah Winfrey was born as “Oprah Gail Winfrey” on January 29, 1954 in Kosciusko, Mississippi. Born to a single teenage mother Vernita Lee and teenage father Vernon Winfrey, but was raised by her grandmother who lived in rural poverty stricken area of Mississippi. Oprah spent her first six years of life with her grandmother who taught her how to read by the age of three, and had her reciting bible verses so well that she was nicknamed “The Preacher” by the congregation of her grandmother’s church. At the age of six years old, Oprah was relocated back to her mother and a younger half sister (who later died in February 2003 from a cocaine addiction death) who then lived in the inner city of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
By the age of fourteen years old, Oprah had experience many turmoil such as molestation and rape by her uncle, cousin and a family friend at the age of nine, a teenage pregnancy at the age of fourteen, which her son died as an infant. At this point, Oprah’s frustrated mother sent her to live with her known father Vernon Winfrey in Nashville, TN. Once in Tennessee, Oprah excelled in school, she became an honor student, voted the most popular girl and joined East Nashville High School Speech Team, which she placed 2nd in the nation dramatic interpretation contest. Her other achievements was winning an oratory contest which secured a full scholarship to Tennessee State University. At the age of seventeen, she won the Miss Black Tennessee pageant which attracted the attention of a local black radio station WVOL that hired her to do the news part time. This was the beginning of her career in media.
Personal Issues and Social Support
Oprah endured many emotional and personal issues from her childhood throughout to her young adult years....