Oprah Winfrey is America’s first female black billionaire who has lately ranked on Forbes' 2020 list of top-earning celebrities at No. 91 and No. 10 on the list of America’s richest self-made women. Talk show host, television producer, actress, businesswoman, author, and philanthropist, Winfrey has done it all.
But Winfrey was also a Mississippi girl of little means born in 1954 who suffered great hardships in her life. Poverty, violence, assault, and many other evils that would be enough to keep a person down. Her story expands a message of hope. “The great courageous act that we must all do, is to have the courage to step out of our history and past so that we can live our dreams," she said. “It doesn’t matter who you are, where you come from. The ability to triumph begins with you – always."
Her television career began in the 70s in Nashville and then Baltimore, where she was a reporter and presenter. In 1984, she moved to Chicago where she started hosting the talk show that would become The Oprah Winfrey Show. It ran from 1986 to 2011 and became the U.S.’s number one talk show.
Beyond that she produced and acted roles in several films, and she started a book club, featuring works from a multitude of authors and published magazines. She also expanded her business empire to include her cable network OWN, her stake with Weight Watchers, and a multiyear deal with Apple TV+.
Winfrey may be the queen of media, but she is overall known for her great heart, humanitarian work, and support of philanthropic causes, especially in the fields of education, children, and women. She frequently donates to charities and advocates for gender equality and human rights. In 2013, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Barack Obama. Last year, she donated $10 million to support those facing food insecurity due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Notwithstanding her spectacular fame and net worth, she has always succeeded in demonstrating her affinity for ordinary people’s stories, claiming to be one of the masses rather than placing herself on a pedestal.