Oprah Gail Winfrey, commonly known as “Oprah”, was born on January 29, 1954, in Kosciusko, Mississippi. Her parents separated soon after she was born. She grew up in a farm with her grandmother who taught her to read and asked her to recite out loud. When she turned six, Oprah moved with her mother to Milwaukee, where she experienced many bad things. She did not have a good relationship with her mother and was molested and sexually abused by some men. She ran away and went to her father’s place in Nashville. Vermin Winfrey strictly disciplined her. Oprah had house rules to follow. Her father made her read books every week and do book reports. She also had to learn new words before dinner. Although her father was strict, Oprah was grateful for the many things she learned from him. Oprah said “He had some concerns about me making the best of my life, and would not accept anything less than what he thought was my best” (Academy of Achievement).
Oprah attended Tennessee State University and received a degree in Speech Communications and Performing Arts. Then, her career as a host or broadcaster began. Today, Oprah Winfrey continues to be one of the most inspiring women in the world. She does this through her talk show, films, and charity foundations.
In 1984, Oprah started as a broadcaster of “AM Chicago”. It was the lowest rated talk show. When Oprah anchored the show, it made a turn around. She introduced current and controversial topics. Oprah expertly handled unraveling stories and was deeply affected by them. The viewers saw Oprah’s compassion and sympathy to the needy, abandoned, sick, and those who experienced different sorts of problems. The show became an inspiration to many who shared the same problems. In September 1985, the show changed its name to, “The Oprah Winfrey Show”. It became a big hit and in less than a year, the show became the number one rated talk show in America.
After a few years, The Oprah Winfrey Show still remained number one. The current season contains regular segments like, “Oprah’s Book Club”, where Oprah focuses on a bestseller or inspiring book and often interviews the author. She also includes these books in her book club.
Another segment called “What’s The Buzz?” is where Oprah interviews a famous person who has certain issues being talked about in town. Through these interviews, people are able to learn more about life.
The next segment, as the title implies, “Wildest Dreams”, allows ordinary or celebrity people to have what they think would be their most unattainable dreams come true. These people have heartbreaking stories about their lives. They are chosen so that others may be inspired through their works.
“Oprah’s Favorite Things” is a segment that happens during specific holidays like before Christmas or after spring. She shares her favorite things with those present at the show by giving them all those things. This is one of her many ways of sharing her blessings.
Besides The Oprah Winfrey Show, Oprah inspires others through the films she produced. Oprah started the HARPO Films in 1986. Through this, she has produced projects based on classic and contemporary literature that have garnered the highest industry honors for quality acting and production. It produced inspiring shows and plays all over the United States like Dr. Phil, Their Eyes Are Watching God, and The Color Purple. Some of their incomes go to charities that Oprah helps out.
Another inspiring act that Oprah does is conducting charity projects. One is Oprah’s Angel Network. This helped the victims of hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. The donations provided shelter, food, and clothing. This project was able to build a new community for the victims. The houses built were complete with appliance and furniture. The Oprah Show televised how Oprah surprised the many victims of the hurricane who didn’t know the houses built are theirs.
Even though Oprah grew up with bad experiences, she showed others that life can change and be changed… she did, and became successful. From then on, Oprah never forgot those in need. Her fans appreciate this. She continuously inspires, helps, and gives hope to those who are in doubt, confusion, and misery. Oprah Winfrey is one of the most inspiring women in the world for she does a lot of great things for a lot of people. She suggests “…open your hearts and see the world in a different way. You get from the world what you give to the world. I promise this will change your life for the better” (The Oprah Winfrey Show).
Academy of Achievement. 6 May. 2006. 1 July. 2006. http://www.achievement.org/autodoc/page/win0bio-1
Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. 1 July. 2006. 2 July. 2006 http://wikipedia.org/wiki/Oprah_Winfrey
Thomson Corporation. Thomson Gale. 1 July 2006. http://www.gale.com/free_resources/bhm/bio/winfrey_o.htm#b_Essay
Harpo Productions, Inc. The Oprah Winfrey Show. 16. July. 2006. 16 July. 2006. <www.oprah.com>
The H.Wilson Company. Oprah Winfrey’s Biography. EBSCOhost. 16 July. 2006.