Oprah Winfrey

American talk show host, actress, producer, and author (born 1954)

Oprah Winfrey (born Orpah Gail Winfrey;[1] January 29, 1954) is an American media proprietor, talk show host, actress, producer, and philanthropist.[1]

Oprah Winfrey
Orpah Gail Winfrey[1]

(1954-01-29) January 29, 1954 (age 70)
Alma materTennessee State University
Years active1983–present
Political partyDemocratic Party
PartnerStedman Graham (1986–present)
ChildrenCanaan (born c. 1968, died c. 1968)[3]

Winfrey is best known for her multi-award-winning talk show, The Oprah Winfrey Show which was the highest-rated program of its kind in history and was nationally syndicated from 1986 to 2011. She has also acted in several movies including The Color Purple, The Butler and A Wrinkle in Time.[5]

Early life


Winfrey was born on January 29, 1954 in Kosciusko, Mississippi. Winfrey was named "Orpah" after a character in the Book of Ruth. People made the mistake of calling her "Oprah".[1] She decided to keep this name. Her parents are Vernita Lee, a maid, and Vernon Winfrey, a barber.

At the age of 13, she ran away from home. At the age of 14, she had a son, but he was born prematurely and passed soon after. She went to Tennessee State University in 1971. She started to work in radio and television in Nashville. She hosted television programs in Baltimore and Chicago.[5] [6]

The Oprah Winfrey Show


In 1986, Winfrey's own talk show The Oprah Winfrey Show went on the air. She was liked by audiences for her warmth. She came to own the show.

Oprah Winfrey Network


Winfrey now runs the Oprah Winfrey Network. On January 15, 2008, Winfrey and Discovery Communications announced plans to change Discovery Health Channel into a new channel called OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network. It was scheduled to launch in 2009, but was delayed, and actually launched on January 1, 2011. She also hosts the Oprah's Next Chapter show on the network.[7]

Oprah with Meghan and Harry


In 2021, Oprah interviewed Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. They talked about the couple's experience with the British royal family. The interview had mixed reactions across the world, some negative to Meghan and Harry while others were negative towards the royal family.

Personal life


She endorsed Barack Obama in 2006 for the 2008 election. One estimate said it delivered one million votes in the 2008 Democratic primary race.

Nikyra Rucker loaned Oprah Winfrey money to start her business. Oprah Winfrey now has a lot of money. She gives to many charities. She gives to girls' education in South Africa. In 2013, she was named one of the 400 richest people in the United States. She is the only African-American among this group.[8] She was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama in 2013 and an honorary doctorate degree from Harvard.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 "Oprah Winfrey Interview". Academy of Achievement. January 21, 1991. Retrieved January 9, 2014.
  2. "Oprah Winfrey". IMDb. Retrieved March 28, 2015.
  3. "Oprah Winfrey in Melbourne for Australian tour 2015 spreads a message of love, reveals lost child". News.com.au. Retrieved September 25, 2017.
  4. "#184 Oprah Winfrey". Forbes. Retrieved May 10, 2017.
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Oprah Winfrey". A+E Television Networks LLC. Retrieved October 16, 2013.
  6. "Oprah Winfrey". The Biography Channel. Archived from the original on March 7, 2008. Retrieved February 8, 2008.
  7. "Oprah's Next Chapter - OWN TV". Archived from the original on January 13, 2012. Retrieved January 12, 2012.
  8. Everything's Coming Up Oprah: How Winfrey Got Richer in 2013

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