Astonishing facts about Oprah Winfrey


oprah winfrey

 

  • Oprah Winfrey was born to Vernita Lee Winfrey and Vernon Winfrey in rural town of Kosciusko, Mississippi, on January 29, 1954. Her middle name is Gail.
  • Her name was supposed to be Orpah, from the Bible, but because of the difficulty of spelling and pronunciation, she was known as Oprah almost from birth.
  • Winfrey was raised by her grandmother for the first six years of her life. Her grandmother taught her to read when she was very young.
  • When she was in high school she won a speech contest and earned a full scholarship to college. She used the scholarship to attend Tennessee State University.
  • After graduation, she found work in local media, and became both the youngest news anchor and the first black female news anchor at Nashville’s WLAC-TV.
  • At the age of 17, Winfrey won the Miss Black Tennessee beauty pageant.
  • In her first job, at a Nashville TV station, she was the youngest news anchor — she was only 19.
  • At 29, Oprah co-hosted a Chicago morning show, and later took it over completely. It became “The Oprah Winfrey Show.”
  • In 1998 she received the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences’ Lifetime Achievement Award after which she withdrew from future Emmy consideration.
  • Oprah Winfrey is the first black woman to become a billionaire (currently at $2.9 billion and counting) and is the richest African-American woman.
  • Oprah Winfrey has also appeared in various movies. She played Sofia in a movie called ‘The Color Purple’. She was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance.
  • Winfrey had a half-brother who died of AIDS in 1989, a half-sister (Patricia Lloyd) who died of cocaine addiction in 2003, and another half-sister she didn’t find out about until 2010.
  • Her legendary TV career has earned her 39 Emmys, on top of Oscar and Golden Globe nominations for “The Color Purple” in 1985.
  • She has five dogs: cocker spaniel Sadie, golden retrievers Luke and Layla, and springer spaniels Sunny and Lauren.
  • In 2013, Winfrey was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, by former President Barack Obama.

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