Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey: The Story of Her Life

Did you know Oprah Winfrey’s name was really supposed to be Orpah, but the letters on her birth certificate got mixed up? What about how Oprah never wore shoes as a child, unless it was Sunday! Or the fact that she wanted to be like Diana Ross when she got older? You probably didn’t, because before I started this project, I had no idea.
Oprah led a depressing but prosperous life. During her life she accomplished the tasks of becoming the first African American woman to become a billionaire, broadcasting her own TV show, publishing her own magazine, and winning many awards. Even though she didn’t have very good mentors while growing up, she still grew up to become a very successful woman.

On January 29 1954, in the small town of Kosciusko, Mississippi, Oprah, or Orpah, was born. She did not have a stable childhood. Her parents didn’t live together. She never had a permanent home until she was fourteen. She first went to live with her grandmother. Then she went to live with her mother in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She was never happy at her mother’s house. However, she was a star student. As a result, she ran away and started getting into trouble. At fourteen, she was sent to live with her father in Nashville, Tennessee. She stayed there throughout the rest of her teens.

After finishing high school, she found a job reading the news at a local news station. From there, she obtained a job at a major radio station and then became a reporter. During that time she was also in college working on her degree. A few months before graduating, she moved to Baltimore, Maryland, without finishing her degree.

In Maryland, she soon acquired a job as a co-host for a morning television show. Since the show’s rating went up after Oprah joined, she decided to go to bigger broadcasting. Therefore, she moved to Chicago, Illinois in 1984 and hosted a bigger morning talk show. The show was so big, that in 1985, the show was renamed The Oprah Winfrey Show which had 30 million viewers a week, in the US alone! Overall, the show has won eight Emmy Awards.
Oprah also won an Academy Award by acting in a movie called “The Color Purple.” Obviously, all this fame and fortune wasn’t enough for her, so she published her own magazine called O, The Oprah Magazine. In 2004, out of 100 best selling consumers magazines, it ranked 22nd! The same year she developed a home decorating magazine, O at Home.

Oprah Winfrey, in 2003, became the first African American woman billionaire. Not only does she donate most of her money to charity, in 2000 she created a section in her show called Oprah’s Big Give. In this show she gave a yearly award of $100,000 to contestants so they can help others and their lives.

Oprah has made many achievements and is still helping others. I think she is a great role model for kids. I think they should look up to her because she has persevered throughout her life, to finally becoming the first African American woman billionaire. She led (and is still leading) a very successful life around obstacles that were difficult to overcome. Oprah is a great role model that should be looked upon by all kids of any race, gender, ethnic group, or religion.


"Oprah Gail Winfrey." Kids InfoBits. Thomson Gale, 2005. Reproduced in Kids InfoBits. Detroit: Gale, 2009. http://galenet.galegroup.com/servlet/KidsInfoBits

Paprocki, Sherry Beck. Oprah Winfrey. New York, NY: Chelsea House, 2006.

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