Oprah Gail Winfrey, born on January 29, 1954, is an American television host and one of the most influential media personalities known today. Talk shows, production house, book club, angel network, movies, Broadway, substantial work for child education, or even relief funds for the disaster stricken areas – there’s nothing Oprah hasn’t touched upon.
Accomplishments of Oprah Winfrey
Oprah is known as a philanthropist, who has overcome a traumatic childhood and gained recognition for her work. She’s taken the world by storm, proving that a black woman can make it anywhere if she sets her mind and heart to it. At one point over the years, she was the richest single black woman in the world, who has proved time and again that anything is possible, if you know how to get it done.
~In the year 1972, Oprah Winfrey won the Miss Black Tennessee beauty pageant and started working with a local black radio station WVOL as a news presenter.
~In the year 1973, Oprah graduated from Tennessee State University with a degree in Speech and Performing Arts, and became the first black TV news anchor with WTVF-TV.
~In 1983, Oprah moved to Chicago to host WLS-TV’s low-rated half-hour morning talk-show, AM Chicago, and within months after Oprah took over, the show went on to become the highest rated talk show in Chicago, and was renamed as “The Oprah Winfrey Show”.
~In the year 1987, Oprah won her first Emmy award for best talk/service show host and best show.
~Oprah received the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People’s Entertainer of the year award in 1989.
~Oprah testified before the US Congress and initiated the National Child Protection Act in 1991.
~In 1995, Oprah not only won an Emmy for Best Talk Show and Best Host for the second year in a row, but also kick started Oprah Online on AOL (American Online) in partnership with ABC. Oprah became the first woman and the only black on Forbes list of 400 richest Americans in the same year.
~In the year 1996, Oprah received the prestigious George Foster Peabody’s Individual Achievement Award. In the same year she co-authored the book “A Journal of Daily Renewal: The Companion to Make the Connection”, with Bob Greene.
~In 1997 Oprah’s Angel Network was formed, which encouraged people to make charitable contributions and volunteer work. In the same year, she co-authored another book, “Uncommon Wisdom of Oprah Winfrey: A Portrait in Her Own Words” with Bill Adler.
~In the year 1998, Oprah received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Daytime Emmy Awards and an award for top talk show host.
~In 2002, Oprah received the Bob Hope Humanitarian Award at the 2002 Emmy Awards for her services to television and film.
~In the year 2005, Oprah was named by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people of the year. She also ranked in 9th place in public poll of the greatest Americans.
~She was also the first black person listed by Business Week as one of America’s top 50 most generous philanthropists.
~Oprah has invested $40 million and much of her time creating the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls near Johannesburg in South Africa, which started in January 2007.
~Her efforts were applauded by Nelson Mandela, who congratulated her for overcoming her own disadvantaged youth to become a benefactor for others, and for investing in the future of South Africa.
~She has an impressive website that leaves no stone unturned when looking into matters of the heart, mind, spirit, and body. She continues to give and be of service even after the Oprah Winfrey Show came to an end in May, 2011.
~Oprah’s Next Chapter was her new talk show produced and hosted by her. It premiered on January 1, 2012 on OWN. For this season of the Next Chapter, Oprah traveled around the world to interview both world-known and less known figures who she was interested in knowing about, and those who interested the viewers of her show.
~Oprah received numerous awards for her achievements and contributions. In the year 2011, she was awarded with the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award. She was also awarded with the Crystal Pillar Award in the same year. Oprah is the only person to have been included in the list of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World, all eight times (2004 to 2011).
~In 2012, Oprah was awarded the National Community Service Award, by Spelman College. Winfrey is known for her huge contribution towards community service, and her equally generous donations. She donated 12 million dollars to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African-American History and Culture, in the year 2013.
Oprah’s book goes back in time to cover her 25 years of broadcasting, highlighting years of real-time television, that changed people’s lives and influenced many to do what was thought impossible. She has moved audiences and reached a point in her life where respect and admiration is a given. Her book The Oprah Winfrey Show: Reflections on an American Legacy proved to be a great buy for any Oprah fanatic.