Oprah Winfrey

Follow
Oprah Winfrey

Born

1/29/1954, Kosciusko, Mississippi

Birth Name

Orpah Gail Winfrey

Gender

Female

Also Known As

Oprah
  • The cast of The Sound of Music is reunit...
  • Inspired by Mad Men, Oprah goes retro on...
7.5
out of 10
User Rating
266 votes

Biography

EDIT
Orpah Gail Winfrey was born on January 29, 1954. She was named "Orpah" after the Biblical character in the Book of Ruth but after her family couldn't pronounce it, they "r" and "p" were switched. She was born in Kosciusko, Mississippi to unmarried teenage parents. Her mother, Vernita…more

Credits

Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • In May 2008, in order to promote veganism, Oprah became a vegan for a period of 21 days.

    • Oprah's favorite color is green.

    • Oprah lost her beloved golden retriever Gracie in May 2007 when she choked on a plastic ball.

    • In 1984, within a few months of joining AM Chicago, Oprah took the show from last place in the ratings to superseding Donahue, as the highest rating talk show in Chicago.

    • Oprah was chosen as one of People Magazine's annual 100 Most Beautiful People in the World, in May 2007.

    • As of 2007, Oprah currently lives on "The Promised Land," a 42 acre ocean and mountain view estate in Montecito, California, outside of Santa Barbara. She bought the property for $50,000,000.

    • In 2004, Oprah hosted the Nobel Peace Prize Concert with Tom Cruise.

    • In 1993, Oprah hosted a prime-time interview with Michael Jackson which became the fourth most watched event in American television history as well as the most watched interview ever, with an audience of one hundred million.

    • Oprah's mother, Vernita Lee, was a housemaid, and her father, Vernon Winfrey, was a coal miner and a barber before becoming a city councilman.

    • In December 2006, it was revealed that a class-action lawsuit had been filed against Oprah's magazine, O, after subscribers were double billed.

    • Oprah has joined hands with Mitch Albom to produce a movie based on Albom's best-selling book For One More Day. The production will begin in the summer and the premiere will be in December 2007. Oprah is going to share producer responsibilities with Kate Forte.

    • Oprah apparently has fans who play the popular computer game World of Warcraft. Guilds have popped up with the name "Oprah Windfury", which is a name of one of the objects in the game.

    • Oprah is a partial owner of the Granite Broadcasting Corporation.

    • In 2006, Oprah signed on with Simon & Schuster to write a book about weight control, reportedly receiving more than $12 million.

    • At the age of 16, Oprah went to live with her father in Nashville, TN. She became an honor student, joined drama club, and won an oratorical contest.

    • In 2006, Oprah signed a three-year, $55 million deal, to debut a new XM Satellite Radio channel titled "Oprah & Friends". The channel will air programs related to fitness, health, self-improvement.

    • Oprah is scared of heights. In February 2007, Oprah revealed she has also had a fear of chewing gum since childhood.

    • On January 6th 2007, a man was charged with trying to extort money by threatening to injure a Oprah's reputation after saying he had tapes of telephone calls between himself and one of Oprah's employees. He claimed the employee was saying "awful things" about Oprah and that she would be embarrassed if they were leaked to the media.

    • Oprah is not very fond of shoes. Indeed; she prefers walking barefoot.

    • Oprah talks with her best friend Gayle King for at least one hour daily.

    • Oprah asked fashion designer Ralph Lauren to design custom-made cashmere jackets for her dogs, so they can be kept warm in the winter.

    • In 2006, Oprah officially unveil the "Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls" in South Africa. The facility cost $40 million, and is funded entirely by Oprah's foundation. It includes 28 buildings with classrooms, a dormitory, computer and science laboratories and an auditorium.

    • In November 2006, Oprah gave all the guests at a screening of her chat show $1300--on the condition they give it away to charity.

    • Oprah collapsed from heat exhaustion during a recent visit to her hometown of Kosciusko, Mississippi. [October 2006]

    • Oprah was #3 on the annual Forbes Magazine's Celebrity 100 list in 2006. She was #1 in 2007.

    • Oprah was a guest at friends Maria Shriver and Arnold Schwarzenegger's star-studded wedding.

    • Oprah's 2005 net worth is $1.3 billion, according to Forbes Magazine, which makes her the richest Female Entertainer. She was the first African-American women to make the list of billionaires, in 2003.

    • Oprah purchased a house at 3330 Radcliffe Avenue, West Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. This superb 11,000 sq ft waterfront property was on sale for Cdn $18 million, at the time British Columbia's most expensive house, but she paid Cdn $17 million (US$13 million).

    • Raised in abject poverty, Oprah received her first pair of shoes in 1959 at age 6. She learned to read at age 2½. In fact, when it was time for her to start kindergarten, she wrote a note to her teacher insisting she should be in first grade. The teacher agreed and after finishing that grade she was then skipped to third grade.

    • Oprah was instrumental in the passage of the Oprah Bill, in the early 1990s. The bill was signed into law by President Bill Clinton, and is aimed at stopping child abuse.

    • In 1999, Oprah and Stedman Graham are taught "Dynamics of Leadership" class at Northwestern University's Kellogg Graduate School of Management.

    • Oprah received $130,000,000 for continuing her talk show through the 1999-2000 TV season. [15 September 1997]

    • Oprah graduated from Tennessee State University, with a bachelor's degree in Speech and Performing Arts.

    • In addition to being a news anchor on WJZ-TV13 in Baltimore, Maryland, Oprah was co-host with Richard Sher (a reporter) on a local talk show called "People are Talking" on that station.

    • In September 2006, Oprah began legal action to halt a campaign to get her to become the next president. Her lawyers ordered Patrick Crowe to close his website and phone line urging the public to vote for her.

    • Oprah launched her own radio show on XM Satellite Radio called, Oprah and Friends.

    • Oprah's 'Angel Network' received $61,600 toward its Hurricane Katrina and Rita recovery efforts, after Matthew McConaughey auctioned off his 1971 Corvette Stingray on eBay.

    • Oprah was sued by Texas cattle ranchers who claimed that Oprah defamed beef on her show. The case went to trial. She was found not liable.

    • In 2006, Oprah landed the biggest ever non-fiction publishing deal for her new book--an exercise and diet book. She has netted more than the record $16 million advance former US President Bill Clinton received for his autobiography.

    • Oprah entered A Million Little Pieces into her book club in September 2006. It was proven that even though entered as a Auto-Biography much of it was fiction. This caused a great debate. Oprah then brought author James Frey on the show, and forced Frey and his publisher to admit to the partial fictitiousness of the book.

    • Oprah's favorite book is To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.

    • On December 26, 2005. The pilot's window of Oprah's private jet cracked en-route to Maui, while she was aboard. The pilot made an emergency landing in Santa Barbara.

    • Oprah produced The Color Purple on Broadway in late 2005. Oprah was in a movie of the same work in 1986.

    • According to Time Magazine, Oprah was just five when she started school and was skipped to third grade at six. She could read at age two.

    • Oprah co-founded the women's cable television network Oxygen.

    • Oprah is the president of Harpo Productions (Oprah spelled backwards).

    • Oprah was born at 7:51 PM eastern standard time.

    • Oprah was molested as a child by her uncle and cousin and has a keen interest in catching sexual predators. On her show, she has rewarded every person that turns in a sex offender $100,000.

    • Oprah had a baby boy when she was only 14 years old. However the baby died about two weeks later because he was two months premature.

    • Oprah's name was supposed to be Orpah, however, it was spelled incorrectly on her birth certificate.

    • Oprah graduated from East Nashville High School in 1971. She was voted "Most Popular" in her senior year.

    • One of Oprah's nicknames is "O", which is also the title of her magazine.

    • Oprah is 5'6.5" (1.69 m) tall.

    • Oprah announced a donation of $10 million to victims of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

    • Oprah, who is a Protestant Christian, once received a Bentley from John Travolta for her birthday. Like Tom Cruise, Travolta has also talked to Oprah about converting to Scientology, but she has told them both she's not interested.

    • Among many expensive gifts that she's given to her studio audience, in one episode, Oprah gave each person a car.

    • Oprah's Awards and Nominations:

      1971 Miss Black Tennessee

      1985 Promising New Actors of 1985 in John Willis' Screen World, Vol. 37

      1986 Best Actress in a Supporting Role (nomination), The Color Purple

      1994 National Women's Hall of Fame (inducted)

      1996 Individual Achievement Award in the George Foster Peabody Awards

      1996 Gold Medal Award from the International Radio & Television Society Foundation

      1997 People's 50 Most Beautiful People

      1997 Most Important Person in Books and Media (Newsweek)

      1997 Television Performer of the Year (TV Guide)

      1998 #1 World's Most Powerful People in Showbiz by Entertainment Weekly

      1998 Lifetime Achievement Award by National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences

      1998 Daytime Emmy, The Oprah Winfrey Show

      1999 #6 World's Most Powerful People in Showbiz by Entertainment Weekly

      1999 National Book Award "Influential contribution to reading and books"

      2002 Bob Hope Humanitarian Award (Emmy Awards)

      2003 #1 Pop Culture Icon on VH1's "200 Greatest Pop Culture Icons"

      2003 AAP Honors Award by the Association of American Publishers

      2006 Library Lion Award by The New York Public Library

      2007 #15 on Entertainment Tonight's "Hot List of 2007"

  • Quotes

    • Oprah: (on the gay rumors about Gayle King and herself) I understand why people think we're gay. There isn't a definition in our culture for this kind of bond between women. 'How can you be this close without it being sexual? We have known each other for more than 30 years and, I admit, we often speak four times a day on the phone when we're not in the same city. Something about this relationship feels other-worldly to me, like it was designed by a power and a hand greater than my own. Whatever the friendship is, it's been a very fun ride.

    • Oprah: (following the news she would become a vegan for 3 weeks to raise the profile of veganism) How can you say you're trying to spiritually evolve without even a thought about what happens to the animal's whose lives are sacrificed in the name of gluttony?

    • Oprah: (on her dog Sophie) Sophie gave me 13 years of unconditional love. She was a true love in my life.

    • Oprah: I find ways to be alone so that I can recharge and hear my own clarity. For just a few moments each day, I consciously count my blessings, take a deep breath, and try to absorb the wonder and glory of my experiences. I know for sure that if you don't replenish your well, it runs dry.

    • Oprah: Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.

    • Oprah: Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough.

    • Oprah: The key to realizing a dream is to focus not on success but significance--and then even the small steps and little victories along your path will take on greater meaning.

    • Oprah: Energy is the essence of life. Every day you decide how you're going to use it by knowing what you want and what it takes to reach that goal, and by maintaining focus.

    • Oprah: There's no easy way out. If there were, I would have bought it. And believe me, it would be one of my favorite things!

    • Oprah: Every time you suppress some part of yourself or allow others to play you small, you are in essence ignoring the owner's manual your creator gave you and destroying your design.

    • Oprah: Every day brings a chance for you to draw in a breath, kick off your shoes, and dance.

    • Oprah: I believe the choice to be excellent begins with aligning your thoughts and words with the intention to require more from yourself.

    • Oprah: Every time you state what you want or believe, you're the first to hear it. It's a message to both you and others about what you think is possible. Don't put a ceiling on yourself.

    • Oprah: I've learned that you can't have everything and do everything at the same time.

    • Oprah: With every experience, you alone are painting your own canvas, thought by thought, choice by choice.

    • Oprah: Whatever you fear most has no power; it is your fear that has the power.

    • Oprah: We are each responsible for our own life; no other person is or even can be.

    • Oprah: Though I am grateful for the blessings of wealth, it hasn't changed who I am. My feet are still on the ground. I'm just wearing better shoes.

    • Oprah: The whole point of being alive is to evolve into the complete person you were intended to be.

    • Oprah: The big secret in life is that there is no big secret. Whatever your goal, you can get there if you're willing to work.

    • Oprah: In every aspect of our lives, we are always asking ourselves, How am I of value? What is my worth? Yet I believe that worthiness is our birthright.

    • Oprah: If you want your life to be more rewarding, you have to change the way you think.

    • Oprah: I trust that everything happens for a reason, even when we're not wise enough to see it.

    • Oprah: I know for sure that what we dwell on is who we become.

    • Oprah: I finally realized that being grateful to my body was key to giving more love to myself.

    • Oprah: Every one of us gets through the tough times because somebody is there, standing in the gap to close it for us.

    • Oprah: As you become more clear about who you really are, you'll be better able to decide what is best for you--the first time around.

    • Oprah: It doesn't matter who you are, where you come from. The ability to triumph begins with you--always.

    • Oprah: Never take a "no" from somebody who isn't in a position to give you a "yes" in the first place.

    • Oprah: (on her relationship with Stedman Graham) It's not a traditional relationship, and marriage is a traditional institution, and certain expectations come with marriage, the truth is he has a life that is... he has his work--which is in education, by the way--and I have mine, and it just wouldn't work.

    • Oprah: (on being charitable) What I learned is it's wonderful to do good work, but I just don't want to do good work -- I want to change how the world works and I chose education because that's what saved me.

    • Oprah: (on education) Education is the path to the future, I believe that education is indeed freedom. With God's help, these girls will be the future leaders on the path to peace in South Africa and the world.

    • Oprah: (on the students she handpicked to attend the school) I'm looking for girls with 'it,' It is that indefinable quality. When you see 'it,' you know it. 'It' has light that shines so bright. Every girl has some form of 'it,' some form of light that shines, that says, 'I want it, I can be successful. I'm not my circumstances.' That's what we were looking for, and that's what we have.

    • Oprah: (on giving guests at her show $1300 each for charity in 2006) Every gift I've ever given has brought at least as much happiness to me as it has to the person I've given it to. That's the feeling I want to pass on. Imagine all the love and kindness you can spread with $1300.

    • Oprah: Some women have a weakness for shoes. I can go barefoot if necessary. I have a weakness for books.

    • Oprah: The expectation of my life was that I might be able to work for some good white folks. Now I got some good white folks working for me.

    • Oprah: What matters is how you feel inside, because feeling beautiful on the inside is key to looking good.

    • Oprah: Lots of people want to ride with you in the Limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the Limo breaks down.

    • Oprah: My idea of heaven is a great big baked potato and someone to share it with.

    • Oprah: Luck is a matter of preparation meeting opportunity.

    • Oprah: My philosophy is that not only are you responsible for your life, but doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment.

    • Oprah: Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody's going to know whether you did it or not.

    • Oprah: I finally realized that being grateful to my body was key to giving more love to myself.

    • Oprah: I know for sure that what we dwell on is who we become.

    • Oprah: The big secret in life is that there is no big secret. Whatever your goal, you can get there if you're willing to work.

    • Oprah: The whole point of being alive is to evolve into the complete person you were intended to be.

    • Oprah: If you neglect to recharge a battery, it dies. And if you run full speed ahead without stopping for water, you lose momentum to finish the race.

    • Oprah: Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough.

    • Oprah: The greatest discovery of all time is that a person can change his future by merely changing his attitude.

SUBMIT REVIEW
  • To into herself now.

    6.0
    Does good things with her money but she gets on my last nerve.
  • Oprah Winfrey may in fact be the most overrated person ever, despite all her good "deeds"

    1.0
    Before all you Oprah fans jump down my throat and barrage me, just here me out. I do appreciate all the good things that she has done such as opening up that girl's school in Africa and all, but that doesn't mean she is a hero to everyone. Oprah just does things for the publicity and she just wants attention. For example, in France she disguised herself and went into a clothing store and was barred because she didn't look rich and the clerk thought she was a robber. So what does Oprah do? Pull out the race card and demands an apology and make people believe she was mistreated. Oprah was disguised at the time, so of course the clerk will treat her differently. He has no idea that was Oprah at all, and she had no right to go overboard at all. Oprah also treats guests that are traumatized bad as well. The one out of three episodes I saw of her show on TV was about a woman who killed her baby. The woman felt very sorry and you could actually feel the sorrow she felt and the pain she feels. So what does Oprah do? She barrages her and scolds her and does absolutely nothing at all to make her feel better and makes her feel even worse. The other two episodes I saw were no better and Oprah did the same thing, make the people feel bad and do nothing to help them and make them feel worse. How is she helping people at all? She just scolds them and makes people feel worse, that is not helpful at all. Oprah may have done her good "deeds" here and there but honestly, she will do anything for publicity and does not help people at all. I am glad her show is ending and hopefully she will stay out of the public and fade away in obscurity. I apologize to all you fans of Oprah but she is just an overrated person who doesn't deserve to be as famous as she is made out to be.moreless
More
Less