Oprah Winfrey is one of the most recognized and well-respected women in the world today. She is notoriously known for her generous heart (remember when she gave her entire audience a car?) and her warm personality.
Life has not always been easy for the self-made billionaire, however. Being born to a young teenage mother, Oprah spent her childhood passed back and forth from different relatives houses. She first lived on a farm in Tennessee with her grandmother. Then, at the age of six, she went to live with her mother in Milwaukee. It was there that Oprah had to endure multiple counts of sexual abuse. She then went to go live with her strict father who went to great lengths to ensure that she excelled in school.
So, how did Oprah go from being a poverty-stricken child to the richest African-American women in America? We all know that she is known for her impeccable interviewing and acting skills, but let’s take a closer look at Oprah’s life to determine exactly what it is that she is famous for.
Her past has helped to build a better future
As we previously mentioned, Oprah had a troubled childhood that was filled with times of abandonment and abuse. However, after high school, she ended up getting a full paid scholarship to the University of Tennessee. She credits her academic achievements to her father’s strict rules. According to the Encyclopedia of World Biography, each week, her father would give her extra written assignments for her to do that were not required for school, and she even had to learn five new vocabulary words each day before she could eat dinner.
In high school, Oprah was a part of many academic clubs, including the debate team and the student council. By the time she entered college, Oprah was already working on a radio show as a newscaster. After that, at the age of 19, Oprah got a job with a CBS-affiliated news station and became the first African American female co-anchor in Nashville.
Although her childhood was less than perfect, it helped her to really understand just how important education is. Which is why, in 2007, Oprah opened her own school called the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls. This school was founded in order to help impoverished and orphaned girls in Africa. Some of the students at this school have at one point been a victim of physical, emotional, or sexual abuse.
Thanks to this school, these girls now have a safe place to go and get a proper education. Not only did Oprah provide a gorgeous boarding school for these girls to attend, but according to Vanity Fair, she also provides the food, clothing, and other essentials that the students may need at no cost to them.
She has revolutionized the entertainment industry
In the late 80s, Oprah had interviewed members of the KKK. She did this with the intention of changing not only the minds of the KKK members but also to educate the world on the problem with racism in America. Instead, she ended up only helping the KKK recruit more members to their organization.
According to an article on LinkedIn, that was the moment that she realized that she needed to change her show’s intention. From that moment on, she made sure that each one of the segments on her talk show had the intention of helping people find the good in themselves. It would no longer have the intention of popularity or ratings in mind.
Since that time, Oprah has conducted thousands of interviews with a kind, cautious, and considerate heart. She has touched the lives of everyone that she has interviewed and she has made sure that they feel safe and welcomed when they walk onto her stage. She had singlehandedly changed the way the world viewed talk shows and the way that hosts would conduct their interviews in the future.
How did Oprah become famous?
Most people may believe that Oprah became famous for being a world-renowned talk show host or an amazing actress. But we believe that Oprah Winfrey became so incredibly famous because she was herself. She showed the world that she is strong, courageous, caring, loving, sensitive, and above all else, a human being just like the rest of us.
The fact that she had one of the most popular daytime talk shows or that she owns her own magazine publication is what helps the world know who she is. However, she has accumulated all of these things because she wasn’t afraid to show the world who the real Oprah Gail Winfrey is.