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Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey
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Oprah Winfrey Biography

"Oprah Gail Winfrey" (born January 29, 1954) is the American multiple-Emmy Award winning host of "The Oprah Winfrey Show", the highest-rated talk show in television history. She is also an influential book critic, an Academy Award-nominated actress, and a magazine publisher. She has been ranked the richest African American of the 20th century, the most philanthropic African American of all time, and the world's only black billionaire for three straight years. She is also, according to some assessments, the most influential woman in the world.

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Oprah Winfrey Awards

2013 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Informational Series or Special "Oprah Presents: Master Class" (2011). Nominated
2011 People's Choice Awards, USA Favorite Talk Show Host "The Oprah Winfrey Show" (1986). Nominated
2011 Television Critics Association Awards Won
2011 Daytime Emmy Awards Won
2011 Academy Awards, USA Won

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Oprah Winfrey Trivia

  • She permanently withdrew herself and her show from consideration for a Daytime Emmy Award after being awarded the Lifetime Achievement in 1998. She was quoted as saying, "After you've achieved it for a lifetime, what else is there?"
  • In addition to being a news anchor on WJZ-TV13 in Baltimore, Maryland, Winfrey was co-host with Richard Sher (a reporter) on a local talk show called "People are Talking" on that station.
  • Graduated from East Nashville High School in Nashville, Tennessee (1971), where she was voted most popular.
  • Was sued by Texas cattlemen who claimed that Oprah defamed beef on her talk show. The case went to trial, causing Oprah to have to relocate her show's production to Amarillo, Texas, for the duration of the trial. She was found not liable.
  • She was ranked first in Entertainment Weekly's 1998 list of the most powerful people in show business, but dropped to sixth in the 1999 list. Still, she was the highest ranking performer, as well as the highest ranking woman, and the only African-American to make the list.
  • Graduate of Tennessee State University, with a degree in Speech and Performing Arts.
  • Is the first woman in history to own and produce her own talk show.
  • Listed as one of twelve "Promising New Actors of 1985" in John Willis' Screen World, Vol. 37.
  • Announced that Oprah would receive $130,000,000 for continuing her talk show through the 1999-2000 TV season. [15 September 1997]
  • Chosen by "People" magazine as one of the 50 Most Beautiful People in the World in 1997.
  • Inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame in Seneca, New York. [1994]
  • She and Stedman Graham are teaching "Dynamics of Leadership" class at Northwestern University's Kellogg Graduate School of Management. [Fall 1999]
  • Given an honorary National Book Award for her "influential contribution to reading and books". [October 1999]
  • Awarded (lst) 50th anniversary medal by National Book Foundation, NYC. [November 1999]
  • Her immensely popular TV talk show is a Harpo Production. Harpo is Oprah spelled backwards. Harpo is also the name of a character in The Color Purple (1985) (Oprah's film debut) played by Willard E. Pugh.
  • Gave birth to a baby boy when she was just 14. The baby died after 2 weeks, from complications of being born 2 months premature.
  • Was instrumental in the passage of the Oprah Bill, in the early 1990s. The bill was signed into law by President Bill Clinton, and is aimed at stopping child abuse.
  • Raised in abject poverty, she received her first pair of shoes in 1959 at age 6. She learned to read at age 2½. In fact, when it was time for her to start kindergarten, she wrote a note to her teacher insisting she should be in first grade. The teacher agreed and after finishing that grade she was then skipped to third grade.
  • Partner is Stedman Graham. [1986 - present]
  • Born at 7:51 PM EST
  • She and her former personal trainer, Bob Greene, announced they are buying seven shoreline lots from Getty Family Trust to build several homes, including one on 102-acre lot for Oprah. They plan to put conservation first and keep site development low key. [April 2002]
  • Ranked #1 on VH1's list of the "200 Greatest Pop Culture Icons" (2003)
  • Elected to the National Women's Hall of Fame in Seneca Falls, NY
  • Ranked #1 Pop Culture Icon on VH1's "The Greatest: 200 Greatest Pop Culture Icons" (2003), beating out Superman and Elvis.
  • Net worth is estimated to be US$1.1 billion. [2004]
  • Purchased a house at 3330 Radcliffe Avenue, West Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. This superb 11,000 sq ft waterfront property was on sale for Cdn $18 million, at the time British Columbia's most expensive house, but she paid Cdn $17 million (US$13 million). [June 2004]
  • Natural daughter of Vernon Winfrey by Vernita Lee (born 2 May 1935).
  • According to Forbes magazine, her 2005 net worth is $1.3 billion. She was the first African-American women to make the list of billionaires, in 2003.
  • Was a guest at friends Maria Shriver and Arnold Schwarzenegger's star-studded wedding
  • First African-American woman to become a billionaire in American history.
  • After years of publicly criticizing David Letterman's late-night television show, "Late Show with David Letterman" (1993), she and Letterman finally settled their differences when she agreed to appear on the December 1, 2005 episode, during which time she was to be in New York to promote her musical of The Color Purple (1985). During the Superbowl of 2007, they appeared in an advertisement together for Letterman's show. In the ad, they sat together on a couch watching the Superbowl, wearing opposing team jerseys. [2005]
  • Has a cameo playing herself in Throw Momma from the Train (1987). In a "clip" from her show, she interviews a writer (the ex-wife of Billy Crystal's character) whose plagiarized and embellished "life story" is at the top of the bestseller lists (foreshadowing the James Frey controversy twenty years later).
  • Was #3 on the annual Forbes magazine Celebrity 100 list in 2006
  • Collapsed from heat exhaustion during a recent visit to her hometown of Kosciusko, Mississippi. [October 2006]
  • Winfrey's name was originally "Orpah," after the biblical figure in the book of Ruth. Several different stories allude to the fact that either a misspelling on her birth certificate or a struggle with the pronunciation of her name eventually led to "Oprah" being adopted as her given name.
  • Has Native American ancestry.
  • Appearing on the annual "Time 100" list, Time's ranking of the 100 most influential people in the world, in 2007 again, she is the only person who has been on that list five times (May 2007).
  • Her two-year-old golden retriever, Gracie, died after accidentally choking to death on another dog's ball [July 2007].
  • In 2006, she gave $58,300,000 to charity to the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy, Oprah's Angel Network, and other groups.
  • In 2006, she earned an estimated $260 million in salary from her various interests including syndication, cable television, and print magazines.
  • Thanked by Shawn Colvin in the liner notes of her album "A Few Small Repairs".
  • Had two half siblings from her mother. Her half brother passed away from AIDS in December 1988 and her half sister, Patricia, died under mysterious circumstances in 2003.
  • Ranked #1 in the 2008 Forbes The Celebrity 100 list.
  • She was awarded an honorary doctorate from Duke University in Durham, North Carolina in 2009 and was the 2009 Commencement Speaker.
  • Jeff Bridges, Michael Douglas, Ellen DeGeneres, Kevin Costner, Steve Martin, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Carol Burnett, John Cleese, Rob Lowe and Ivan Reitman are among her various Southern California neighbors.
  • World's first black billionairess with an estimated worth of $2.3 billion as of 2009.
  • Her personal chef until 2007 was Art Smith.
  • Recipient of the 2010 Kennedy Center Honors; other recipients that year were Jerry Herman, Paul McCartney, Merle Haggard, and Bill T. Jones.
  • With ratings at an estimated 6.5 million viewers per day, her show is the most popular talk show in the world.
  • Aunt of Chrishaunda Lee, the daughter of her deceased half-sister Patricia. Oprah walked Chrishaundra down the aisle at her wedding in 2005.
  • Her idol is Diana Ross.
  • Attended Nicolet High School in Glendale, Wisconsin for a short period of time in her teenage years.
  • Over the 25-year run of her daytime TV talk show, Winfrey never once missed a day through absenteeism.
  • When Oprah's show went independent for the first time, her staff consisted of 4 personnel including herself. By 2011, her empire had expanded to 464 personnel.
  • Oprah's broadcasting career began in the late 1960s as a teenage intern at WVOL, an African-American radio station in Nashville, Tennessee.
  • Received the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award - a special Oscar for her charity work - on November 12, 2011 in Los Angeles.
  • Teenage crushes were Beatle Paul McCartney and the Jackson 5's Jackie Jackson.
  • Ever since she was 15-years-old, Oprah has kept a journal of every day of her life.
  • Since the inception of the "Book Club" segment on her show, an estimated 30 million books were sold as a direct result of the worldwide publicity.
  • Oprah has become the first African-American woman to own a cable network. It is called OWN, which stands for Oprah Winfrey Network.
  • Her support of Barack Obama helped him to become the first Black US president.

Oprah Winfrey Photos

  • Oprah Winfrey

    "The Butler" Los Angeles Premiere - Arrivals

  • Oprah WInfrey, Stedman Graham

    "The Butler" New York City Premiere - Arrivals

  • Oprah Winfrey

    "Beyonce: Life is But a Dream" HBO New York City Premiere -Arrivals

  • Oprah Winfrey

    "Lovetown, USA" TV Series Filming at Howard Gilman Memorial Park in St. Marys on February 12, 2012

  • Oprah Winfrey

    2nd Annual Sesame Street Workshop

  • Oprah Winfrey

    The Illinois Broadcasters Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony 2011 - May 3, 2011

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