Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey is best known for her talk show The Oprah Winfrey Show, which was the highest-rated television program of its kind in history for 24 consecutive seasons, since its debut in 1986.

Oprah went from being a child who lived in poverty to the richest African American of the 20th century and North America’s first black multi-billionaire.

Oprah was born into poverty in rural Mississippi to a teenage single mother who was working as a maid. To say that Oprah had a difficult childhood and many obstacles in life is not enough. She was sexually abused and raped during her childhood and early teens, and became pregnant at 14 (her son was born prematurely and died in infancy).

While being a teenager, her mother sent her for the second time to live with her father, who made Oprah’s education a priority. While still being a high school student, she landed a job in radio. By 19, Winfrey was co-anchoring the local evening news. She was the youngest news anchor and first black female news anchor at Nashville’s WTFV.

In the following years. Oprah worked at several televisions and in ’83 she moved to Chicago, hosting a low-rated morning talk show. Few months after Winfrey took over, the show went from last place in the ratings to being the highest-rated talk show in Chicago.

Oprah not only revolutionized the tabloid talk show genre, but also broke the 20th century taboos and allowed LGBTQ people to enter mainstream through television appearances.

In the mid ‘90’s, Oprah was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame. In the same period she reinvented her show, focusing now on literature, self-improvement, mindfulness, and spirituality.

She also started a book club segment of her talk-show, Oprah’s Book Club. During its 15 years, 70 books were discussed. The club ended in 2011, together with Oprah’s show, and was relaunched online one year later.

Winfrey was ranked several times as one of America’s most influential women and in 2008 she delivered about 1 million votes to Barack Obama in the primary race through her support, some economists stating that Obama would have lost the nomination without her.


Books recommended by Oprah Winfrey:

Everything Is Figure...

by Marie Forleo

East of Eden

by John Steinbeck

We Were the Mulvaney...

by Joyce Carol Oates

The Story of Edgar S...

by Edgar Sawtelle

The Pillars of the E...

by Ken Follett

The Road

by Cormac McCarthy

White Oleander

by Janet Finch

The Good Earth

by Pearl S. Buck

The Measure of a Man...

by Sidney Poitier

The Heart Is a Lonel...

by Carson McCullers

The Corrections

by Jonathan Franzen

The Deep End of the ...

by Jacquelyn Mitchard

One Hundred Years of...

by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Freedom

by Jonathan Franzen

Lean In: Women, Work...

by Sheryl Sandberg