Oprah Winfrey Bibliography

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Kylie Parton
Professor Burnett
UCOL 1022
12 February 2013
Biography of Oprah Winfrey
Oprah Winfrey was born in Kosciusko, Mississippi on January 29, 1954. Her name was supposed to be "Orpah" Winfrey, but the name was spelled wrong on her birth certificate, and pretty soon everyone was calling her Oprah. As her mom looked for a job in the North, Oprah lived her grandmother, who taught her to read and write. Once her mother, Vernita, found a job as a housemaid in Milwaukee, Mississippi, Oprah was sent to live with her, whose friends and other male relatives sexually abused Oprah during her childhood. As a child born into poverty, Oprah wore potato sacks as clothes with literally nothing else to wear. Due to her disruptive and abusive upbringing, Oprah moved in with her stricter father, Vernon, to Nashville at the age of fourteen.

Before attending Tennessee State University, Oprah went through a rebellious stage in her life where she experimented with drugs and lost a baby, who was born premature. It was when Oprah achieved a University Scholarship that she got into focus and started pursuing her career. At Tennessee State University, Oprah got her BA in Speech and Performing Arts and graduated as an honor student. In addition, Oprah Winfrey won the Miss Black Tennessee beauty pageant at age 17.

At the age of 19, Oprah was the first African American woman television news anchor to work in Nashville on the WTVF-TV station, which was the beginning of her success. From there, Oprah began to be a role model when she joined the morning show on WJZ-TV called “People are Talking” in Baltimore. After moving to Chicago in 1984, Oprah hosted on another morning show called "AM Chicago" at WLS-TV's, which became the number one talk show. Not long after Oprah started working there, the “AM Chicago” show was soon renamed “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” which reached more than 40 million views a week, and went on to become the number one ranked talk show and is broadcasted internationally to more than one hundred countries worldwide. The show is a major influence for women with the topics ranging from social issues including child abuse, health care, human rights, poverty, racism and education. Due to the show grossing $125 million by the end of the first year, Oprah was awarded $30 million of it. “The Oprah Winfrey Show” soon led to "Oprah's Book Club" in 1996. In “Oprah’s Book Club,” she would bring up books that mainly appealed to her and most of the books she brought up went to number one best seller. In addition, a multi-media venture was announced by Oprah and Discovery Communications who created OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, in which Oprah is the Chief Executive Office. She now hosts “Oprah's Lifeclass,” a nightly program, on OWN. Not only that, she is one of the partners in Oxygen Media, a cable channel presenting programming designed primarily for women.

Not only was Oprah a talk show host, but she also has appeared in six films as an actress or she had a voice-over role. Between 1985 and 2009, Oprah played a role in “The Color Purple,” “Native Son,” “Beloved,” “Charlotte’s Web,” “Bee Movie,” and “The Princess and the Frog.” In “The Color Purple,” Oprah received an Academy Award nomination for best supporting actress. A stage version of the work on Broadway has since been produced by Oprah. On top of all that, Oprah publishes two magazines and has co-authored five books. One being “The Oprah Magazine” ,which is one of today's leading women's lifestyle publications and it has an average of 2.35 million readers each month and the other being “O at Home.” Oprah also has a radio station called the Oprah Radio, which airs on SIRIUS XM Radio, and her company website, Harpo Studios which made her the third woman in the American entertainment industry to own her own studio; she creates, develops, and produces original programming for network, syndication, cable and digital platforms. As a Philanthropist, Oprah created The Oprah...
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