Histori Personale

Do whatever it takes until you are able to do what you love

Do whatever it takes until you are able to do what you love

Born to a single teenage mother, Oprah Winfrey spent her early years on her grandmother's farm in Kosciusko, Mississippi. Her world changed for the worse at the age of six, when she was sent to Milwaukee to live with her mother, who had found work as a maid. In the long days when her mother was away from their inner-city apartment, the young Oprah was repeatedly harassed by her male relatives and another visitor.

The abuse, which lasted from the ages of nine to 13, was emotionally devastating. At 14, she was out of the house and alone. By her own account, she was sexually promiscuous as a teenager. After giving birth to a son who died in infancy, she moved to Nashville, Tennessee to live with her father.

Her father was strict but gave his daughter the safe life she needed. In this structured environment, Oprah thrived and became an honors student, winning prizes for oratory and dramatic recitation.

At 17, she won the Miss Black Tennessee beauty pageant and was offered a job on the air at WVOL, a radio station serving the African-American community in Nashville. She also won a full scholarship to Tennessee State University.

Oprah continued to work at WVOL through her early college years, but her career was advancing. She left school and started working at a local television station as a reporter and anchor.

In 1976, she moved to Baltimore to join WJZ-TV News as a co-anchor. There, she hosted her first talk show, People Are Talking, while continuing to work as an anchor and news reporter. In January 1984, she was invited to Chicago to host a morning program.

In less than a year, she turned AM Chicago into the most watched show in the city. Her emotional and improvisational style connected with viewers and helped the show rise to number one. The show was later expanded to a one-hour format and renamed "The Oprah Winfrey Show". A year later the program was broadcast nationally and quickly became the number one show in national syndication.