Life Span Development and Personality of Oprah Winfrey

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Life Span Development and Personality of Oprah Winfrey
Lori Rial
University of Phoenix College Online
PSY 300/ General Psychology
Jackie Grimmett
October 27, 2008

Oprah Winfrey rose from a troubled youth and poverty to become the most influential and powerful woman in television. Forbes Magazine cited her as the world’s most highly paid entertainer. Winfrey is not only recognized as a talk show hostess, but also produces and acts in television movies and feature films. Oprah’s show is groundbreaking because she was not afraid to bare her soul and her own experiences. Oprah’s experiences helped shape her personal and professional life.

The choices Oprah made in her life were influenced by her environment and emotional upbringing. Oprah Gail Winfrey was born January 29, 1954, in Kosciusko, Mississippi, her mother and father never married. Oprah’s mother could not deal with single parenthood and sent Oprah to live with her grandmother for the first six years of her life. Oprah’s grandmother, Hattie Mae Lee, helped shape Oprah’s education as a young girl.

Hattie Mae read to Oprah and taught her how to recognize letters and sounds (Angelfire, 2008). Oprah could read and write at the age of three. Oprah never wasted her imagination on something that seemed boring. Through her early years farm animals were Oprah’s only friends. Oprah would include them in games and give them parts in plays that she made. The church that Oprah and Hattie Mae attended was the first place that Oprah spoke in public.

Oprah enjoyed bringing her recitals to life. Once she was asked what she wanted to be when she grew up, and she answered without hesitation, “I want to be paid to talk” (Angelfire, 2008). Oprah was forbidden to talk to adults at home. Oprah did not understand this because everyone wanted to hear her talk. When Oprah would recite at church, other women would tell her grandmother that Oprah was gifted.

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