Oh yes, it's Ms. O!

By: mjb

Everybody knows the woman called Oprah. She is in the Forbes list of 100 richest and most powerful celebrities in the world. Aside from being a talk show host, magazine publisher, and producer --- she is also known as a philanthropist and a global media leader.

Oprah Winfrey is one of the most well-known celebrities of our time. She is also considered as the most influential celebrity in television history. Her book club makes celebrities of authors and when she turns the spotlight on an issue, that issue makes headlines. The woman gets things done and she does it in an entertaining and enthralling way.

The Oprah Winfrey Show is now the longest running daytime talk show in the US. The show is very influential especially among women. Topics discussed on the show such as weight loss, depression and relationships have literally glued millions of women on their television sets. She also includes counseling sessions on her show by guesting psychologists, life experts, and spiritual mentors.

Oprah Winfrey's life was less than glamorous as it is today. Her life story is filled with stories of child abuse, struggle, and poverty. Oprah was born in Mississippi to unwed teenage parents in 1954. Her mother brought Oprah to her grandmother where she was encouraged to go to school and have a religious upbringing. As a child, Oprah never wasted a minute of her young imaginative mind on something that seemed to be boring. In her early years, the only friends she had were farm animals. She gave them parts in the plays she made and included them in games. There were plenty of opportunities for her to display her talents. Her abilities to read, speak, and memorize were unbelievable.

Oprah attended Nashville East High School. She was well-liked by students and teachers. She later became well-known because of her skill in public speaking, making her a frequent guest in different churches and women's group meetings. At age nineteen, Oprah got her first broadcasting job at WVOL in Nashville, Tennessee. She became the first African-American woman to anchor at Nashville's WTVF-TV. She moved to Baltimore, Maryland in 1976, and after being co-anchor at WJZ-TV for two years, she was hired to host the station's chat show, “People Are Talking.”

In 1984, Oprah moved to Chicago and took over the morning show “A.M. Chicago.” By September of the next year, the show was very successful that it was expanded to an hour and renamed it “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” Her show has remained the number one talk show for 20 consecutive seasons. She was introduced into the Television Hall of Fame in 1994, and has won many awards.

Oprah also tried acting. She made her acting debut in 1985 as “Sofia” in Steven Spielberg's “The Color Purple”, for which she received both the Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations. She also has been lauded for her performances in the made-for-television movies “Before Women Had Wings” (1997), “There Are No Children Here” (1993), and “The Women of Brewster's Place” (1989).

Now, Oprah still continues to host her popular show. Aside from her “O” magazine, she also has her own site, Oprah.com and, as expected, it is visited by millions of her adoring fans around the world. Oprah.com is a premiere women's lifestyle website. It offers advice on everything from the mind, body, and spirit --- to food, home, and relationships. It provides comprehensive resources related to The Oprah Winfrey Show; O, the Oprah Magazine; and Oprah & Friends. In addition, the website has a unique original content, including Oprah's Book Club, which offers free in-depth reading guides for each book selection, online discussion groups, and Q&A sessions with literary experts.

Oprah knows that as long as she is making a difference in people's lives, she will continue with her endeavors. She started out as a determined little girl who made her dreams come true. Oprah has become a financially successful woman, but shares them to the less privileged. She has touched many people's lives. To the underprivileged with who she has shared both laughter and tears, she is a modern-day saint. Today, she mentors millions of people and continues to make a huge impact worldwide as a humanitarian, philanthropist, and advocate for education, human rights, and the empowerment of women.

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