Oprah Winfrey Biography

Biography by Published on Updated on 05 Sep, 2018
Facts of Oprah Winfrey
Date of Birth: 1954 , January-29
Age: 64 years old
Birth Nation: United States of America
Height: 5 Feet 7 Inch
Name Oprah Winfrey
Birth Name Oprah Winfrey
Nick Name Lady O
Father Vernon Winfrey
Mother Vernita Lee
Nationality American
Birth Place/City Kosciusko, Mississippi
Religion Christian
Ethnicity Afro-American
Profession Talk show host, author, actress and Philanthropist
Working For Hollywood
Net Worth $4.02 billion
Salary $225 million
Affair with Stedman Graham
Boyfriend Stedman Graham (since 1986)
Married Not Yet
Awards Golden Globes Awards, Academy Awards, Tony Awards
Online Presence Facebook, Twitter, Wiki, Instagram
Movies The color Purple
TV Show The Oprah Winfrey Show
View more / View Less Facts of Oprah Winfrey

Billionaire media mogul and philanthropist Oprah Winfrey is best known for hosting her own internationally popular talk show from 1986-2011. She was the richest African-American of the 20th century and has been ranked the greatest black philanthropist in American history.

Winfrey is one of the top 500 richest people in the world. The CEO and Chairwoman of the Oprah Winfrey Network has an estimated net worth of $4.02 billion as of September 2018.

She is a receiver of several accolades including Academy Award, Golden Globe, Emmy Award and Tony Awards. In 2013, she was honored as the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Obama. She also received the honorary doctorate degree from Duke and Harvard University.

Winfrey is living with her partner Stedman Graham Jr. since 1986.

Early Life And Education Of Oprah Winfrey

Winfrey was born on Kosciusko, Mississippi, the United States on January 29, 1954. She was a child of mother Vernita Lee and usually noted biological father Vernon Winfrey.

Her mother used to work as a housemaid and her father Winfrey was a coal miner, barber later turned Armed force when she was born. However, Noah Robinson, Sr. (born c. 1925), has claimed to be her biological father. This black beauty ethnicity belongs to Kpelle group, in the area of Liberia.

She spent her early life with her mother and with her grandmother  Hattie Mae in the north until she was six, who was so poor that she often used to wear dresses made of potato sacks. Before age of three, she was taught by her grandmother to read. She was so excellent in the recitation of Bible verses in the church that she was nicked named  "The Preacher".

CAPTION: Oprah Winfrey when she was 6-year-old SOURCE: BGLH

At age of six with her mother, she moved to inner-city Milwaukee, where she worked as a maid. Later she moved to live temporarily in  Nashville with Vernon.

Later she joined Lincoln High School but Upward Bound program success led her transferred to the affluent suburban Nicolet High School. 

She ran away at the age of 13 from home after being abused for several years. At 14, she was pregnant with a son who died prematurely. Winfrey broke up with her high school sweetheart Anthony Otey on Valentine's Day of her senior year as she was destined for greater life.

She studied communication in Tennessee State University in full scholarship after she was placed second in dramatic interpretation in national level at East Nashville High School. 

Oprah Winfrey's Career

Career Begining

Before Winfrey won Miss Black Tennessee beauty pageant at 17. Before that,  she used to work in a local grocery store which was her first teenage job. She also worked in her first two years of college in a black radio station, WVOL, where she was hired to do part-time news.

CAPTION: Young Oprah Winfrey SOURCE: AROGUNDADE

In local media, she was youngest and first negro female anchor at Nashville's WLAC-TV. In 1976, she was co-anchor the six o'clock news in Baltimore's WJZ-TV.  She also hosted a local talk show and the local version of Dialing for Dollars there.

In 1985, she made her film debut in Steven Spielberg’s film The Color Purple. She won an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress. category. 

The Oprah Winfrey Show

In 1986, she launched her own show The Oprah Winfrey Show as a nationally syndicated program. The show used to air on 120 channels and over 10 million people used to watch the show. The show grossed $125 million by the end of its first year from which she begged $30 million to her home.

She then gained ownership of the program from ABC, drawing it under the control of her own production company Harpo Productions (Oprah’s spelled backward).

Winfrey In 1986, announced to her viewers that she had asexually abused by her uncle, cousin and family friend at the age of nine. She aired for 25 seasons until May 2011. The show is the highest-rated daytime talk show in American television history.

In 2002, TV Guide ranked at #49 on TV Guide’s 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time. The show also earned several accolades. She also interviewed numerous famous people on her show including former King of Pop Michael Jackson, Ice Cube, David Letterman, former POTUS George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Suzanne Somers.

The Oprah Winfrey Network

In 2009, she would be ending her program when her contract with ABC ended in 2011. Sooner, she moved to her own network, the Oprah Winfrey Network- a joint venture with Discovery Communications.

In 2011, she started her own network The Oprah Winfrey Network (jointly owned by Harpo Studios and Discovery Inc). The channel debuted on 1st January 2011, in approximately 80 million homes replacing the former Discovery’s health channel (Discovery Health Channel).

CAPTION: Billionaire media mogul Oprah Winfrey SOURCE: Purple Clover

She became the chairwoman, CEO and CCO of the network. She also hosted her show for five months at the new channel. In December 2017, Discovery became the majority owner of OWN after buying 24.5 % of the company from its former founder on $70 million. She retained 25.5 % of share and remained in the same position as per the agreement.

Other Projects

The versatile personality Oprah Winfrey has also appeared in numerous movies and TV shows.  She has worked in several movies and television shows as an actor, producer and guest actor. She has also lent her voice in several animated movies.

In 2018, she featured in a science fantasy adventure film A Wrinkle in Time alongside Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Michael Pena, Chris Pine and other stars.

She now features in an animated televisions series The Handmaid’s Tale- based on the 1985 novel of the same name by Margaret Atwood. The first season of the series premiered in 2017 and its third season will premiere in at the end of 2018. She is also an established author. She has released over 30 books to date.

Oprah Winfrey's Net Worth, Salary And Income Sources(House-Cars-Jet)

Media mogul Oprah Winfrey is one of the 500 richest people in the World. Her net worth has grown by over $420 million in 2017. As of September 2018, her estimated net worth is $4.02 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

She is the first black female entrepreneur to make into the world’s top 500 richest people. In July 2017, her net worth was $3.1 billion and $3 billion in 2015.

In 2015, she put $43 million in her company The Oprah Winfrey network and received a 10% stake. Her annual salary is over $200 million. She has made this fortune through her long-term career.

Year

Annual Income

2011

$315 million

2012

$165 million

2013

$77 million

2014

$82 million

2015

$120 million

2016

$150 million

2017

$420 million

She also makes a hefty amount of money for endorsing several brands including Amazon, Waywire, and Weight Watchers.

Houses And Properties

She lives in a self-made lavish mansion. She paid $50 million in 2001 for the square-foot Georgian-style home she calls the Promise Land which features 14 bathrooms and 10 exquisite fireplaces.

The home was under construction when she purchased the land. She also has another home in Ski Chalet, Colorado which is worth $14 million. She also owns an $8 million estate on Washington state’s Orcas Island. She also has a beautiful house in Georgia and lands on Maui, Hawaii and Antigua.

She is also the owner of a Gulfstream G650 private jet with registration N-540W. The jet was built in 2015 and delivered to her in 2016. She bought this jet for $70 million after selling a previous one.

She also owns several lavishes cars including:

  • Range Rover
  • Bentley
  • Aston Martin
  • Rolls Royce

Oprah Winfrey's Awards And Achievements

Oprah Winfrey is a receiver of several accolades throughout her career. She has won 38 awards from 67 nominations in total. She has won numerous prestigious awards including:

  • Academy Awards-1
  • Daytime Emmy Awards-18
  • Golden Globes0-1
  • NAACP Image Awards-12
  • Primetime Emmy Awards-2
  • Tony Awards-1

Oprah Winfrey’s Philanthropy and Charity Works

The media mogul is considered a renowned philanthropist in the world. She has involved in numerous charity works for a long time. She has supported several organizations by donating a huge amount. She has also established her own foundation which works for different areas.

In 1998, she created the Oprah’s Angel Network, a charity supported charitable projects and provide grants to nonprofit initiatives throughout the world.

The network raised over $80 million ($1 million of which was donated by singer Jon Bon Jovi). In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, she created the Oprah Angel Network Katrina registry which raised over $11 million for relief efforts. She personally donated $10 million the cause. She helped to build a home for hurricane’s victim in Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama.

In 2007, she established Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy For Girls in South Africa in 2007. The project has provided training on essential aspects like life- skills development, soft skills development, leadership and scholarships for over 500 African girls in the numerous colleges and Universities in the United States.

In the summer of 2006, she took her staff and their families (1,065 in total) on vacation to Hawaii. In 2013, she donated $12 million to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African History and Culture. The same year, she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom Award by the former President Barack Obama.

Oprah Winfrey's Personal Life, Relationships, Affairs, Family

Relationships

Oprah Winfrey is unmarried but living together with her partner Stedman Graham for 32-years now. The duo reportedly met in 1986 at a charity event in Chicago, where he founded the nonprofit initiation Athletes Against Drugs. She began dating the same year when her show The Oprah Winfrey Show premiered.
After three years, they faced fake cheating rumors. According to Harpers Bazaar, in 1989, The Chicago Sun-Times published an article that her boyfriend was found in bed with her hairdresser. Later, the columnist said it was her mistake and apologized for her mistake.

CAPTION: Oprah Winfrey and her longtime partner Stedman Graham SOURCE: E! News

In 1991, the pair decided to stay together in the same apartment. After dating for six years, they engaged in 1992 but called off after a year. In 1995, she confirmed to the media that they began living together in the same apartment.

Until 1997, he was known as the Oprah Winfrey’s boyfriend but he revealed his own status (founder president and chief operating officer of S. Graham & Associates). In 2013, in an interview, she said that their relationship would never have lasted if she had married him. She also told he has been an inspiration and support for her since their first meeting.

 

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In June 2015, Oprah and Stedman became grandparents when Stedman’s daughter from his ex-wife, Wendy welcomed a baby girl.

He supported her as she was honored with the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the 2018 Golden Globe as he always does on red carpets. In 2015, he shared that he is the number one fan of his wife for over three decades. As of 2018, the pair’s relationship is going stronger day by days without any issues and misunderstanding between themselves.

 

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She dated few men before meeting Stedman Graham. In 1971, she dated William "Bubba" Taylor at Tennessee State University. In the 1970s, she was in a relationship with John Tesh, they split up overpressure of having an interracial relationship according to her biography writer Kitty Kelley.

She also dated movie critic Roger Ebert. In 1985, she was in a relationship with Haitian filmmaker Reginald Chevalier.

She is the best friend of TV personality and journalist Gayle King. The duo has been best friends of each other since their early twenties. She also has a close bond with Maria Shriver.

Faith And Beliefs

She was raised a Baptist. In early her life, she spoke at local, mostly African-American congregations of the Southern Baptist Convention. She is a god believer and often tells Jesus has helped her to the height of success.

She is a true supporter of the Democratic Party. In 2008, she endorsed then Presidential candidate Barack Obama. It was the first time when she endorsed a political candidate running for office. In 2014, she spoke over 20 minutes at a fundraiser in Arlington, Virginia for a Democratic candidate for election to the U.S. House of Representatives.

Oprah Winfrey's Body Measurements

  • Height: She stands at 5.7 in (170 cm).
  • Weight: She weighs 180 lbs (82 kg) as of August 2018.
  • Body figure: 40-30-40 in.
  • Shoe size: 10.5
  • Cup: D
  • Body Shape: Apple
  • Bra size: 36D
  • Workout: She does regular workout to stay fit and healthy. She does aerobic, strength training, back extensions and other types of exercises.  

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