Born on 25th January 1954; Oprah Winfrey has done quite a lot of things to this date. For instance, she became one of the best women influencers through her “The Oprah Winfrey Show (1986-2011)” which made a special place in the American TV shows history. Other than that, she is an actress, and one of the leading entrepreneurs in the world.
Now, it’s time for us to back to her history where it all started. At the age of six, Winfrey moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin to live with her mother. During her early teens, she was sent to Nashville to live with her father. At the age of only 19, she became a news anchor for the local CBS television station. After graduating from Tennessee State University in 1976, she became a reporter and co-anchor for the ABC news in Baltimore, Maryland.
Evidently, Winfrey excelled in the casual and personal talk-show format, and in 1984 she moved to Chicago to host a talk show AM Chicago. Her honesty and engaging personality quickly turned the show around and it turned out to be a successful one which nobody expected. In the year 1985, the show was renamed The Oprah Winfrey Show. In 1986, the show became the highest-rated television talk show in the United States and earned a number of Emmy Awards.
In 1985, she appeared in Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of Alice Walker’s 1982 novel “The Color Purple”. After this, she was offered multiple roles, including a performance in the television miniseries The Women of Brewser Place (1989). In 1986, she formed her own production company, Harpo Productions, Inc. and a film production company as well, Harpo Films, in 1990. The companies began buying film rights to literary works, including Connie May Fowler’s Before Women Had Wings, which came into being in 1997.
Later on, she lent her voice to several animated films, including Charlotte’s Web (2006) and the Princess and the Frog (2009). She also produced a film (Selma) about Martin Luther King Jr., which was nominated for an Academy Award for best picture. She later on, starred in HBO TV movie The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (2017).
Publishing and Writing
Winfrey has co-authored five books. She co-authored with her personal trainer Bob Greene, to publish a weight loss book back in the year 2005. After that, in 2015, her memoir, The Life You Want, was announced and scheduled for publication in 2017.
Winfrey publishes the magazine: O, the Oprah Magazine and from 2004 to 2008 also published a magazine called O At Home. Back in the year 2002, Fortune called out O, the most successful start-up ever in the industry. However, its circulation dropped down to 10 percent (to 2.4 million) from 2005 to 2008, as a matter of fact, the January 2009 issue was the best selling issue since the year 2006. To be honest the audience for her magazine is way bigger than her TV show.
1998 was the year when she expanded her media entertainment when she co-founded Oxygen Media, which launched a cable television network for women. In the year 2006, the Oprah and Friends channel debuted on satellite radio. After that, she brokered a partnership deal with Discovery Communications back in 2008, with which the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) took the place of Discovery Health Channel. In 2009 she announced that she would be ending the talk show in the year 2011; it was speculated that she would focus on OWN. The last episode of the talk show was aired on May 2011, and Oprah Next Chapter, a weekly prime-time interview program on OWN, debuted in January 2012. In 2017, Discovery announced that it would be acquiring a majority share in OWN, thought she would remain involved in the channel.
Charities & Awards
Later on, Winfrey engaged herself in numerous philanthropic activities, including the creation of Oprah’s Angel Network, which sponsors charitable initiatives throughout the world. Back in 2007, she opened a school for disadvantaged girls in South Africa worth $40 million. She has always been a crusader against child abuse, which got her so many honors, and awards from civic, philanthropic, and entertainment organizations worldwide.
In fact, in 2010 she was named a Kennedy Center honoree, and just after that, she received the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. In 2013, Winfrey was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Moreover, she received the Cecil B. DeMille Award in 2018, and her impassioned speech, in which she called out for racial and gender equality. The best part is that speech was marked as one of the ceremony’s most memorable moments.
At the age of 32, Winfrey became a millionaire when her talk show received national syndication in the United States. She also negotiated ownership rights to the television program and after that; she started her own production company.
At the age of 41, she had a net worth of $340 million and replaced Bill Cosby as the only African American on the Forbes 400 list. Other than that, there has been a course taught at the University of Illinois focusing on Winfrey’s business insights, namely: “History 298: Oprah Winfrey, the Tycoon”. She was named the highest paid television entertainer in the United States in the year 2006, earning an estimated amount of $260 million during that year, which is almost five times the sum of amount earned by the second-place music executive Simon Cowell. And by the year 2008, her yearly income had increased to $275 million.
The Fan Base
The viewership for The Oprah Winfrey Show was the highest during the 1991–92 season, when more than 13 million U.S. viewers were watching the show each day. By the year 2003, ratings declined to about 7.4 million daily viewers. But in 2005, ratings briefly rebounded to approximately 9 million and then declined again to around 7.3 million viewers by 2008, though it remained the highest rated talk show.
As one of the famous celebrity and philanthropist of the United States, Oprah Winfrey has always been in the spotlight. Not only that, she is known for her work as one of the best TV show hosts and charity positive person of all time. So, for more success stories make sure to check out Fluper.