Full Name: Orpah (Oprah) Gail Winfrey
Date of Birth: January 29 1954
Profession: Media Executive / Host / Actress / Producer
Oprah Winfrey was born in Mississippi to unwed teenage parents in 1954. She endured a difficult childhood and adolescence living with her mother and grandmother in extreme poverty. Years later, the public learned just how difficult those times were for her. She revealed on her show that she was sexually abused as a child by male relatives and friends of her mother. At the age of 14 she became pregnant, a secret she held until the day of the child’s delivery. The baby was born premature and later passed away due to complications. She was sent to live with her father in Tennessee and from this moment onwards, Oprah dedicated herself to rising above her circumstances.
Negative to Positive:
Things improved for Oprah when she turned 18 and won the “Miss Black Tennessee” beauty pageant. The win led to a part-time news position on a black radio station. In 1976, she moved to Baltimore to host a programme called “People are Talking”. After 8 years on the show, she was recruited by a Chicago TV Station to do “AM Chicago” which would eventually become “The Oprah Winfrey Show”. Her popularity led to a role in the Steven Spielberg film, “The Colour Purple”. She earned an Academy Award nomination. By 1986, “The Oprah Winfrey Show” was syndicated on over 100 channels across the US. Working day and night, with persistence and consistency, she soon became the undisputed “Queen” of television talk shows before amassing a media empire.
The Oprah Brand:
A year later, her top-rated talk show which was owned by her production company, “Harpo”, was bringing in $125 million per year. Although her show looked like her competitors, Oprah was offering something truly unique. While other daytime talk shows focused on “trashy” topics and gossip, Oprah stayed above the fray, focusing mainly on self-help issues. Her approach worked, as millions of viewers began hanging on to her every word. In 1999, the Oprah brand continued to grow as she co-founded “Oxygen Media”, dedicated to programming for women. She also introduced “O” Magazine, which became an instant success.
In 2007, Oprah opened the “South African Leadership Academy for Girls” but the school was soon the centre of a sexual abuse scandal. Upon discovering this, Oprah used her typical “hands-on” approach to make sure the screening process for staff was changed and improvements were made. This goes to show how her caring side always shines through and sets her up for success. Oprah Winfrey has met a remarkable number of hurdles at all stages of her life and she always seems to overcome them. This is done by focusing on the most important issue to her at that time. Meanwhile, her empire continues to grow with magazines, radio channels and the “Oprah Winfrey” network. The media icon has achieved a level of success and influence like nothing ever seen before in popular culture.
Personality and Vision:
She is a phenomenon and her great talent is being able to understand exactly who her audience is. Her show has never been about elitism. It has been about reaching the broad section of American, Middle-Class Women. Oprah Winfrey is an incredibly talented and charismatic entrepreneur and as impressive as her top-rated show was, what makes Oprah truly unique is the influence she has over her fans. When she started “Oprah’s Book Club”, just about every title that she selected shot to the top of the “best-sellers” list. She would appear on “Time” magazine’s “Most Influential People” list from 2004 through to 2007. As Oprah’s influence grew, so did her bank account as she became a billionaire and the richest “self-made” woman in the US, given by “Forbes”. Most people with her upbringing would fail to come the negative life events she faced. Oprah was not consumed by these and instead prevailed.
Oprah Winfrey MBTI (Probable):
The ENFJ (Mentor) seeks continuity through harmonious relationships and collective values. They excel at picking up the tone of a conversation and acting accordingly, adding warmth to a cold setting and turning sour into sweet. They are natural cheerleaders, often expressing support, gratitude and encouragement. They also heap praise on those they appreciate. Frequently, they take note of what is being done and what needs to be done and offer their assistance wherever necessary.
Oprah Winfrey Quotes:
“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”
“Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher.”
“The biggest adventure you can ever take is to live the life of your dreams.”
“Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another steppingstone to greatness.”
“Doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment.”
“Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody’s going to know whether you did it or not.”
“The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.”
“Turn your wounds into wisdom.”
“Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.”
Oprah’s Keys to Success:
- Forget the Past – Everybody has had negative events happen to them at some point during their life. However, what may seem bad to one person may seem like nothing when compared to another person’s experience. Although it can be easy to cling on to memories and replay these repeatedly in our minds, this will not change what happened. Each day is a new day and an opportunity to change things for the better.
- Align Yourself with Your Career – It can be easy to “follow the money” into careers which do not necessarily match our characters or morals. When you say yes to the wrong opportunities, you take yourself away from a “true” life path and hinder your chances for success. Focus on your strengths and those things that fuel your fire, these will guide you in the right direction.
- Look Inside for Guidance – Whenever you have an issue and need a solution, it can be tempting to go directly to somebody else for help. Whilst this can sometimes work, often we go to the wrong people or those that are not close enough to the problem to give a meaningful answer. When you look inside, you can consider all avenues and often come to better decisions.
Oprah Essential Reading & Products:
Oprah Winfrey Other Facts:
- She has been with her boyfriend, Stedman Graham (author and businessman) since 1986. Although they were engaged to be married in November 1992, the ceremony never took place.
- Oprah is a hero to many people because she overcame a particularly rough upbringing to turn into one of the most successful people in the world. Additionally, she has never neglected her responsibilities as an influential person by using her money to help other people. Oprah is one of the most well-known philanthropists worldwide.
- She is most famous for hosting her own talk show from 1986 to 2011 which was successful internationally. The show was focused on being an educational platform which featured book clubs, interviews, self-improvement and world philanthropy. The show was highly influential and one of the longest-running daytime television talk shows in history.
- Currently (as of 2019) she has residences in 6 locations. These are Montecito (California), Lavallette (New Jersey), Telluride (Colorado), Maui (Hawaii), Chicago (Illinois) and Fisher Island (Florida).
- Oprah Winfrey studied Communication at “Tennessee State University”.