Oprah Winfrey (born Orpah Gail Winfrey; January 29, 1954)
The life cycle 124875
Important years of life
Oprah Winfrey (born Orpah Gail Winfrey; January 29, 1954)
Working in local media, she was both the youngest news anchor and the first black female news anchor at Nashville’s WLAC-TV. She moved to Baltimore’s WJZ-TV in 1976 to co-anchor the six o’clock news… Taylor, however, was unwilling to leave Nashville with Winfrey when she moved to Baltimore to work at WJZ-TV in June 1976. “We really did care for each other”, Winfrey would later recall. “We shared a deep love. A love I will
Winfrey became so depressed that on September 8, 1981, she wrote a suicide note to best friend Gayle King instructing King to water her plants.
In 1983, Winfrey relocated to Chicago to host WLS-TV’s low-rated half-hour morning talk show, AM Chicago. The first episode aired on January 2, 1984. Within months after Winfrey took over, the show went from last place in the ratings to overtaking Donahue as the highest-rated talk show in Chicago. The movie critic Roger Ebert persuaded her to sign a syndication deal with King World. Ebert predicted that she would generate 40 times as
much revenue as his television show, At the Movies
The November 1988 Ms. observed that “in a society where fat is taboo, she made it in a medium that worships thin and celebrates a bland, white-bread prettiness of body and personality […] But Winfrey made fat sexy, elegant – damned near gorgeous – with her drop-dead wardrobe, easy body language, and cheerful sensuality.”
The power of Winfrey’s opinions and endorsement to influence public opinion, especially consumer purchasing choices, has been dubbed “The Oprah Effect”. The effect has been documented or alleged in domains as diverse as book sales, beef markets, and election voting. Late in 1996, Winfrey introduced the Oprah’s Book Club segment to her television show. The segment focused on new books and classics and often brought obscure novels to
popular attention. The book club became such a powerful force that whenever Winfrey introduced a new book as her book-club selection, it instantly became a best-seller; for example, when she selected the classic John Steinbeck novel East of Eden, it soared to the top of the book charts. Being recognized by Winfrey often means a million additional book sales for an author.
During a show about mad cow disease with Howard Lyman (aired on April 16, 1996), Winfrey said she was stopped cold from eating another burger.
Texas cattlemen sued her and Lyman in early 1998 for “false defamation of perishable food” and “business disparagement”, claiming that Winfrey’s remarks sent cattle prices tumbling, costing beef producers $11 million. Winfrey was represented by attorney Chip Babcock and, on February 26, after a two-month trial in an Amarillo, Texas, court, a jury found Winfrey and Lyman were not liable for damages.
At age six, Winfrey moved to an inner-city neighborhood in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with her mother Vernita Lee, who was less supportive and encouraging than her grandmother had been, largely as a result of the long hours she worked as a maid. Around this time, Lee had given birth to another daughter, Winfrey’s younger half-sister, Patricia who later (in February 2003, at age 43) died of causes related to cocaine addiction
Forbes’ list of The World’s Billionaires has listed Winfrey as the world’s only black billionaire from 2004 to 2006 and as the first black woman billionaire in the world that was achieved in 2003.
A February 2003 series, in which Winfrey showed clips from people all over the world asking America not to go to war, was interrupted in several east coast markets by network broadcasts of a press conference in which President George W. Bush and Colin Powell summarized the case for war.
The viewership for The Oprah Winfrey Show was highest during the 1991–92 season, when about 13.1 million U.S. viewers were watching each day. By 2003, ratings declined to 7.4 million daily viewers. Ratings briefly rebounded to approximately 9 million in 2005 and then declined again to around 7.3 million viewers in 2008, though it remained the highest rated talk show. In 2008, Winfrey’s show was airing in 140 countries internationally and seen by an estimated 46 million people in the US weekly. According to the Harris poll, Winfrey was America’s favorite television personality in 1998, 2000, 2002–06, and 2009. Winfrey was especially popular among women, Democrats, political moderates, Baby Boomers, Generation X, Southern Americans, and East Coast Americans
From 2006 to 2008, her endorsement of Obama, by one estimate, delivered over a million votes in the close 2008 Democratic primary race
On January 15, 2008, Winfrey and Discovery Communications announced plans to change Discovery Health Channel into a new channel called OWN: Oprah
Winfrey Network. It was scheduled to launch in 2009 but was delayed, and actually launched on January 1, 2011.
The series finale of The Oprah Winfrey Show aired on May 25, 2011.
In late 2008, Winfrey’s company Harpo Films signed an exclusive output pact to develop and produce scripted series, documentaries, and movies for HBO
Winfrey publishes magazines: O, The Oprah Magazine; from 2004 to 2008, she also published a magazine called O at Home. In 2002, Fortune called O, the Oprah Magazine the most successful start-up ever in the industry. Although its circulation had declined by more than 10 percent (to 2.4 million) from 2005 to 2008, the January 2009 issue was the best selling issue since 2006
Winfrey hosted a week-long Caribbean cruise for Angelou and 150 guests for Angelou’s 70th birthday in 1998, and in 2008, threw her “an extravagant
80th birthday celebration” at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida
By 2008, her yearly income had increased to $275 million
As chairman of Harpo Inc., she was named the most powerful woman in entertainment by The Hollywood Reporter in 2008.
Winfrey endorsed presidential candidate Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential election, the first time she endorsed a political candidate running for office
In 2008, Winfrey endorsed author and spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle and his book, A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose, which sold several million extra copies after being selected for her book club. During a Webinar class, in which she promoted the book, Winfrey stated “God is a feeling experience and not a believing experience. If your religion is a believing experience […] then that’s not truly God.”
Winfrey was named as the 2008 Person of the Year by animal-rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)
In 2008, The New York Times reported that The Oprah Winfrey Show, with Arabic subtitles, was broadcast twice each weekday on MBC 4. Winfrey’s modest dress, combined with her attitude of triumph over adversity and abuse has caused some women in Saudi Arabia to idealize her.
Although Obama appeared twice on her show, those appearances were prior to his declaring himself a candidate. Winfrey added that Palin would make a fantastic guest and that she would love to have her on the show after the election, which she did on November 18, 2009
In 2009, Winfrey was criticized for allowing actress Suzanne Somers to appear on her show to discuss hormone treatments that are not accepted by mainstream medicine
In 2009, Winfrey provided the voice for the character of Eudora, the mother of Princess Tiana, in Disney’s The Princess
When author Jonathan Franzen’s book was selected for the Book Club, he reportedly “cringed” and said selected books tend to be “schmaltzy”. After James Frey’s A Million Little Pieces was found to contain fabrications in 2006, Winfrey confronted him on her show over the breach of trust. In 2009, Winfrey apologized to Frey for the public confrontation
In 2009, Winfrey filmed a series of interviews in Denmark highlighting its citizens as the happiest people in the world
She is best known for her talk show The Oprah Winfrey Show, which was the highest-rated television program of its kind in history and was nationally syndicated from 1986 to 2011 in Chicago, Illinois.
2011–present Oprah’s Master Class Herself OWN reality show
2011–2014 Oprah’s Lifeclass Herself OWN self-help show
2011–present Super Soul Sunday Herself OWN spirituality show
2012–2015 Oprah Prime Herself OWN interview show