Oprah Winfrey Biography

Oprah Gail Winfrey (born January 29, 1954 in Kosciusko, Mississippi) is one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the United States. She is currently involved in many business ventures, but is most identified with her massively popular and eponymous talk show.

She is currently ranked as the most powerful celebrity by Forbes magazine, as well as the ninth most powerful woman in the world. Oprah Winfrey is believed to be worth over $1.3 billion according to the 2005 Forbes Magazine Issue. She currently lives on "The Promised Land", her 42 acre ocean view estate in Montecito, California, outside of Santa Barbara.

Winfrey was born to an extremely poor Baptist family. Winfrey began her career in media at age 17. She was both the youngest news anchor and the first black female news anchor at Nashville's WTVF-TV. In 1983, Winfrey took over as host of WLS-TV's low-rated half-hour morning talk show, AM Chicago.

The show was so successful with Winfrey as host that it was renamed The Oprah Winfrey Show, expanded to an hour. Originally, the show followed traditional talk show formats. By the mid 1990s, however, the format became more serious, addressing issues that Winfrey thought were of direct importance and of crucial consequence to women.

Winfrey began to do a lot of charity work, and her show featured people suffering from poverty or the victims of unfortunate accidents. In 1985, Winfrey co-starred in Steven Spielberg's epic adaptation of Alice Walker's award-winning novel The Color Purple. She earned immediate acclaim as Sofia, the distraught housewife. The following year Winfrey was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.



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