Oprah Gail Winfrey
Oprah at her 50th birthday party by Alan Light.
Oprah at her 50th birthday party by Alan Light.




Early Life and Background

Oprah Gail Winfrey was born on January 29th, 1954
in Kosciusko,
Mississippi. Oprah was a determined person since birth. You could tell that she was determined because even after going through so much, she still managed to stay ahead in her studies and focus on her education. She skipped kindergarten and the second grade, due to the fact that she was gifted. Her unmarried parents separated soon after she was born and left little Oprah to be raised by her maternal grandmother. Also, she was sexually abused by many male relatives and family friends such as her older cousin and her uncle. At the age of fourteen, she was pregnant with a child who was born but passed away after two weeks. However, after an early life filled with hardships and difficulties she was sent to live with her father, who changed her life for the better. His strict rules and high standards helped her to become the person she is today.


Oprah accomplished many things throughout her life. During her freshman year at
Tennessee State University, Oprah won the beauty contests for Miss Black Nashville and Miss Tennessee. Later on, when she was only nineteen years old and a sophomore in college, the Nashville CBS affiliate offered her a job to be a host. One of her jobs was a radio show host, then after starting her career on a radio show, Oprah went on to hosting her own talk show where she opened up about her past. She wanted to help those going through what she had been through and raise awareness. Not only did the show give her the opportunity for her voice to be heard but also earned her, her very own production company. Oprah Winfrey has now become one of the highest paid entertainers and richest woman in the world. With her talk show “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” she has won twenty-five Emmy awards. Six of the twenty-five awards were given to her recognizing the caring and outspoken type of host she is. Oprah Winfrey is caring and outspoken because, she believes in making a difference and doesn't settle for less. For example, when Oprah was young although she was a dark skinned girl who lived in a time where prejudice was common and was underestimated by her family, she never imagined herself living a poor life in her future according to Oprah "she always knew what she wanted to do". Oprah has been known as the "Queen of talk" since the mid 1980s, she is also the first African American woman to host a talk show. Furthermore, she helps many people by giving an estimated 47% of her salary to charities like "Relay for Life" all over the world.

Because Oprah grew up in poverty as a child, she feels very strongly towards helping others going through similar situations. On her show, not only does she interview people, but also likes to give generous giveaways such as money donations or anything that is needed to make someone's life a little easier. Not only that, but she has built her own school in Johannesburg which is located in South Africa. The school is for girls and it educates them not only about things that have to do with academic subjects, but it also teaches them how to become leaders and "the best human beings they can be", according to Oprah. Oprah didn't want the girls who would attend her school to have to worry about the requirements of the school, such as uniforms, books, and writing utensils. So she decided to provide all the requirements for all of her students. She built the school because she has experienced being an African American girl living in poverty and being sexually abused by close family and trusted relatives. During this experience, she felt hopeless and miserable, and like she didn't belong. Also with these critical circumstances Oprah's mother didn't take education seriously, even though Oprah loved to learn and desperatley wanted to be educated. Oprah didn't want girls living in poverty and in places where education was not availale, to feel the way she did and like they could never live life to the fullest. Oprah even included a huge library with an estimated amount of 10,000 books in it, and also a theatre in the school.

To keep in touch with her fans, Oprah has a website called OprahEckhart.com where people can log in at a specific time 8:00 Pm central on Monday's and Oprah would have a worldwide web cast where she would lecture about a book called "The New Earth Awakening to Your Life's Purpose". The book focuses on spirituality and it's about finding more peaceful ways to live. The purpose of the web cast is to influence the people in our world to become better human beings, and realize their purpose on Earth. Another objective of the web cast is for our Earth to have a better future.


In Oprah Winfrey's life she never really had anyone to look up to until she moved in with her father. He had a great influence on her and altered the direction that she would go in her life. The reason she looked up to him was that he gave her the care and attention she needed. Further more, Oprah remembers her father being very strict, but today she is thankful for it and loves him for it. He always had her best interests at heart and wanted her to make the best of her life.

Did She Accomplish Her Goal?

Oprah Winfrey has definitely accomplished her many goals. This fact is true for various reasons, such as the fact that she helped so many people around the world, which was mainly why she started "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in the first place. She raised millions of dollars for charities and continues to get homes built in
Africa for those living in poverty without homes. In addition, Oprah testified before Congress, supporting “The Oprah Bill”, launching a countrywide record of convicted child abusers. Those are only a few of the things Oprah did, there is much more! Oprah continues with her creative ways to help others and keep in touch with the people who admire her in any way that she can. Based on this information we can say that Oprah Winfrey is truly a hero and a great leader, also she has the Perseverance and determination to prove it.
1. http://find.galegroup.com/srcx/infomark.do&contentSet=GSRC&type=retrieve&tabID=T001&prodId=DC&docId
2. http://find.galegroup.com/srcx/infomark.do?&contentSet=GBRC&type=retrieve&tabID=T001&prodId=DC&docId=EK1631007029&source=gale&userGroupName=ko_k12hs_d63&version=1.02
3. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RXukV4vM5jo
By: Samira J and Iqra I 8-K Loureiro