Oprah Winfrey: From Waitress To Media Mogul

There is hardly a person in this world who does not know who Oprah Winfrey is. She is a billionaire; the first black woman to own a TV Production Company, and for many years the only pointer of a successful black person in media. Oprah is one of the most influential people in the world.

Oprah has used her platform to make a difference over the years; she has touched many lives, and provided aid to those in need. She has also used her platform to help other people climb the ladder of success. For example; her book club has been the platform through which many authors have told their stories; and reached a wider audience.

But it wasn’t always like that; Oprah was once poor and hungry. She never could have imagined that she would reach these heights. Not many people know her background story; her journey in life could inspire you.

Oprah Winfrey: From Waitress To Media Mogul

Oprah Winfrey’s Early Struggle

Oprah was born January 29, 1954, in Kosciusko, Mississippi, U.S. She was born to a single mother who had to depend on state welfare to get by from month to month.

Poverty was not the only problem young Oprah Winfrey was beset with; she was also molested as a child, and became pregnant as a teenager. The child was born prematurely, and died in infancy.

Oprah was then sent to live in Nashville, Tennessee, with the man she described as “the only father I ever had.” She worked as a sales attendant at a grocery store. At about that same time she landed a job in radio while still in high school, and she also won a beauty pageant.

Oprah Winfrey was a very astute presenter; as a radio news anchor, her presentations were very passionate and thought provoking.

Oprah Winfrey’s Break Into Television

Her passionate radio news anchoring brought her an opportunity in Television as a show host; and she grabbed the opportunity with both hands.

Oprah Winfrey started her career by reviewing tabloids. This type of day show was made popular by her; she would passionately discuss news items in a way that would stir emotional reactions from viewers. In 1994, she was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame.

Oprah soon reinvented the show; making it more intimate, confessional, and relatable. She publicly discussed her own issues, and invited people to share their stories. This made The Oprah Show even more popular; for 25 years the show was syndicated across TV networks in the US.

By the mid-1990s, her show had become the number one show globally for self improvement, inspiration, mindfulness, and spirituality. She focused on literature; with her Book Club she gave many writers the platform to launch their careers.

She became known as the Queen of All Media; and the most popular woman in the world. Oprah also promoted some controversial self help ideas; but also touched lives with her philanthropy; she has been called the greatest black philanthropist in U.S. history.

How Did Oprah Winfrey Become Rich?

Oprah Winfrey became rich by negotiating ownership of her show; that means she owns all the content she has produced over the years, and a huge chunk of the advertising revenues generated.

She has therefore been able to use the content generated over the years to create her own network with which she continually airs the content, generating wealth infinitely.

Oprah’s Wealth And Influence

In 2007 Oprah Winfrey was named as the most powerful woman in the world. Her endorsement of Barack Obama was estimated to have produced about one million votes during the 2008 Democratic primaries. She did a lot to promote the candidacy of Barack Obama; and she proved herself as a political force when he emerged president.

Oprah Winfrey established her network; the Oprah Winfrey Network which enabled the syndication of her show all over the world; via satellite and digital channels.

Oprah Winfrey’s net worth is usually publicized at around $1.6 Billion, but her wealth is a lot more than that. Her name and face are very powerful brands, and she has the influence that few people outside politics can ever hope to attain.

In 2013, Oprah Winfrey was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Obama.

Lessons From Oprah Winfrey’s Life

Oprah Winfrey grew up in a poor home, and suffered from lack and poverty. On top of that, she suffered abuse, and ended up pregnant. But rather than be destroyed by these negative experiences in her early years; she became passionate.

It has been this passion to help others experiencing sorrow that has driven her to become one of the most influential people in the world.

If Oprah could do it, so can you. It will not be easy, but it will be worth it to cast aside one’s weakness, and make the necessary changes to ensure a brighter life.

Further Reading: Richest Black Men In The World

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