Oprah Winfrey has had a meteoric career, starting with her earliest television appearances that delayed for twelve years the completion of her college education, just one credit short of graduation. Starting as a news reporter in radio while she was still in high school, Ms. Winfrey next moved to television and jobs as a news anchor, soon moving on to audience participation formats. Her next and most important step was into the role of television talk show host, where she excelled and continued to pull strong ratings as she moved into larger markets. Her entrepreneurial spirit and self-confidence led her to establish her own production company, Harpo Studios (Oprah spelled-backwards), a move which allowed her to personally capture much more of the financial benefit from the programming in which she was featured. This culminated with her creation of OWN, the Oprah Winfrey Network, in 2011. With an estimated worth of $2.9 billion in 2013, Ms. Winfrey ranked #184 among the Forbes 400 list of richest people in America.

Primary tabs

Career

TALK SHOW HOST
2012–present
Producer and Host Primetime television show / Oprah's Next Chapter
2012–present
Host / Oprah's Next Chapter Oprah Winfrey Network - OWN Interview Show
2012–present
Host / Oprah: Where Are They Now? Oprah Winfrey Network - OWN Reality Show
2011–present
Host / Oprah's Lifeclass Oprah Winfrey Network - OWN Self Help Show
2011–present
Host / Oprah's Master Class Oprah Winfrey Network - OWN Reality Show
2011–present
Host / Super Soul Sunday Oprah Winfrey Network - OWN Spirituality Show
19862011
Host The Oprah Winfrey Show / Chicago, Illinois USA
19841986
Host A.M. Chicago / Chicago, Illinois USA
19781983
Co-Host with Richard Sher / People are Talking WJZ-TV / Baltimore, Maryland USA
19781983
Hosted local version of show / Dialing for Dollars WJZ-TV / Baltimore, Maryland USA
FILM AND TELEVISION ACTING
2013
Acted in the role of Gloria Gaines The Butler
1998
Producer and acted in the role of Sethe Feature Film / Beloved
1990
Acted in the role of Mattie Michael Television miniseries / Brewster Place
1989
Acted in the role of Mattie Michael Television miniseries / The Women of Brewster Place
1986
Acted in the role of Mrs. Thomas Feature Film / Native Son
1985
Acted in the role of Sofia Feature Film / The Color Purple
FILM - VOICE ACTING
2010
Voice of The Letter "O," depicted as a talk-show host / Episode: The Camouflage Challenge Children's Educational Television / Sesame Street
2007
Voice of Judge Bumbleton Animated Feature Film / Bee Movie
2006
Voice of Gussy the Goose Children's Feature Film / Charlotte's Web
1999
Voice of Coretta Scott King Direct-to-video Film / Our Friend, Martin
1992
Voice of Elizabeth Keckley ABC Television Movie / Lincoln
TELEVISION & FILM - GUEST APPEARANCES
2008
Appeared as herself / Episode: Believe in the Stars Television Series / 30 Rock
2007
Appeared as herself Feature Film / Ocean's Thirteen
2005
Acted in the role of Karen Stouffer / Episode: Oprah Winfrey Is the New Neighbor Television Series / Desperate Housewives
1999
Appeared as herself / Episode: Milsap Moves Up Television Series / The Hughleys
1999
Appeared as herself / Episode: Home Alone Television Series / Home Improvement
1997
Acted in the role of Therapist / The Puppy Episodes Television Series / Ellen
1995
Appeared as herself / Episode: A Night at the Oprah Television Series / All American Girl
1992
Appeared as herself / Episode: A Night at the Oprah Television Series / The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
1990
Appeared as herself / Episode: Tis the Season Television Series / Gabriel's Fire
BROADCAST JOURNALISM
19761978
Co-Anchor - Reporter / Six O'clock News WJZ-TV / Baltimore, Maryland USA
19731976
News Anchor - Reporter WLAC-TV (now WTVF-TV) / Nashville, Tennessee USA
19701973
News reporter (part-time while in high school and college) WVOL Radio / Nashville, Tennessee USA

Accomplishments of note

2011
Founder: Oprah Winfrey Network LLC Chicago, Illinois with Discovery Communications, and her own Harpo Productions OWN is an American general entertainment television channel
2007
Founder and benefactor: Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls Henley on Klip, South Africa The academy is a $40 million school for disadvantaged girls
2000
Founder: Harpo Print, LLC Chicago, Illinois and New York, New York with Hearst Magazines Publishes "O, the Oprah Magazine"
1999
Author, non-fiction: Make the Connection - Ten Steps to a Better Body -- and a Better Life with Bob Greene Publisher: Hyperion
1998
Founder: Oprah’s Angel Network Chicago, Illinois Public charity that supported women, children and families with educational and empowerment initiatives until its closing in 2011
1998
Author, non-fiction: Journey to Beloved with Photographs by Ken Regan Publisher: Hyperion
1998
Co-founder: Oxygen Media New York, New York
1997
Creator: Oprah - Make the Connection (VHS) with Holly Dale, director
1996
Creator: Oprah's Book Club The Oprah Winfrey Talk Show Format was to announce selections two to four weeks in advance, then discussing the books on-air with a select group of people. Many of her picks went on to sell over one million copies, dubbed the "Oprah Effect."
1996
Author, non-fiction: The Journal of Daily Renewal - The Companion to Make the Connection with Bob Greene Publisher: Hyperion
1986
Founder: Harpo Productions, Inc., television production company Chicago, Illinois Operates as a subsidiary of HARPO Entertainment Group
1986
Founder: Harpo Studios Chicago, Illinois Production site for The Oprah Winfrey Show, as well as The Rosie Show (Rosie O'Donnell)
1986
Founder: Harpo Radio Inc., satellite broadcasting company Chicago, Illinois and New York, New York Holding company for the Oprah & Friends channel on XM Satellite Radio & DirecTV
1972
Winner: Miss Black Tennessee State-wide pageant in Tennessee

Professional honors and awards

Daytime Emmy Awards National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Outstanding Talk Show Host: The Oprah Winfrey Show
2013
Presidential Medal of Freedom President of the United States Highest civilian award in the United States, for those who have made "an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors."
2011
Daytime Emmy - Crystal Pillar Award National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Lifetime achievement in recognition of her 47 Emmy wins, her distribution in 145 countries worldwide, and her success in establishing her couch as the place where celebrities and politicians alike share personal information.
2011
Daytime Emmy - Special Recognition Award National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences
2011
Career Achievement Award Television Critics Association
2010
Kennedy Center Honoree The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts In recognition of living individuals who, throughout their lifetimes, have made significant contributions to American culture through the performing arts
Montecito Award Santa Barbara International Film Festival Lifetime Achievement Award
2008
International Emmy Founders Award The International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences
2008
PGA 2008 Stanley Kramer Award, shared with Todd Black and Kate Forte Producers Guild of America (PGA) Feature Film: The Great Debaters
2008
Christopher Award, shared with director Denzel Washington and team The Christophers Feature Film: The Great Debaters
2004
Distinguished Service Award National Association of Broadcasters
2004
People's Choice Award People's Choice Awards, USA Favorite Talk Show Host
2000
PGA Golden Laurel Award, shared with Kate Forte Producers Guild of America (PGA) Outstanding Producer of Long-Form Television: Tuesdays with Morrie
2000
Primetime Emmy Award National Academy of Television Arts & Science Outstanding Made for Television Movie: Tuesdays with Morrie
1999
Daytime Emmy Award - Lifetime Achievement Award National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences
1999
Daytime Emmy Award, tied with Rosie O'Donnell for The Rosie O'Donnell Show National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Outstanding Talk/Service Show Host: The Oprah Winfrey Show
1998
People's Choice Award People's Choice Awards, USA Favorite Female Television Performer
1997
Daytime Emmy Awards, shared with her production staff Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Outstanding Talk Show: The Oprah Winfrey Show
1997
People's Choice Award People's Choice Awards, USA Favorite Female Television Performer
1996
Daytime Emmy Awards, shared with her production staff National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Outstanding Talk Show: The Oprah Winfrey Show
1996
Gold Medal Award International Radio & Television Society Foundation
1995
The George Foster Peabody Awards: Personal Award Henry W. Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia Multi-talented broadcaster, in recognition of her on-and off-air accomplishments
1995
Daytime Emmy Awards, shared with her production staff National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Outstanding Talk Show: The Oprah Winfrey Show
1994
Aftonbladet TV Prize, Sweden Aftonbladet, Sweden’s biggest news source Bästa utländska kvinna: Best Foreign TV Personality - Female
1994
Daytime Emmy Awards, shared with her production staff National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Outstanding Talk Show: The Oprah Winfrey Show
1994
Daytime Emmy Awards National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Outstanding Talk Show Host: The Oprah Winfrey Show
1993
Daytime Emmy Awards, shared with her production staff National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Outstanding Children's Special: ABC Afterschool Specials, "Shades of a Single Protein" episode
1992
Daytime Emmy Awards, shared with her production staff National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Outstanding Talk/Service Show: The Oprah Winfrey Show
1992
Daytime Emmy Awards National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Outstanding Talk Show Host: The Oprah Winfrey Show
1991
Daytime Emmy Awards, shared with production staff National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Outstanding Talk/Service Show: The Oprah Winfrey Show
1991
Daytime Emmy Awards National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Outstanding Talk Show Host: The Oprah Winfrey Show
1989
Daytime Emmy Awards, shared with her production staff National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Outstanding Talk/Service Program The Oprah Winfrey Show
1988
People's Choice Award People's Choice Awards, USA Favorite Talk Show Host
1987
Golden Apple Award Hollywood Women's Press Club Outstanding Talk Show Host: The Oprah Winfrey Show
1987
Daytime Emmy Awards National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Female Star of the Year
1985
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA) Best Supporting Actress - 2nd Place: The Color Purple

Community

Community honors and awards

2012
National Community Service Award Awarded by:  Spelman College
2011
100 Most Influential People in the World Time Magazine
2011
84th Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award / Honorary Academy Award The Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) For an individual's outstanding contributions to humanitarian causes
2005
NAACP Image Award - Hall of Fame Award American National Association for the Advancement of Colored People To honor outstanding people of color in film, television, music, and literature
2004
Global Humanitarian Action Award United Nations Association of the United States of America
2002
Bob Hope Humanitarian Award Board of Governors of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Contributions made to the growth and development of radio and television as a family medium and as a platform for political and social commentary
1998
Emmy Lifetime Achievement Award The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences
1998
S. Roger Horchow Award Greatest Public Service by a Private Citizen Greatest Public Service by a Private Citizen
1995
NAACP Image Award American National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Outstanding News, Talk or Information - Series or Special: The Oprah Winfrey Show
1994
NAACP Image Award American National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Outstanding News, Talk or Information - Series or Special: The Oprah Winfrey Show
1993
NAACP Image Award American National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Outstanding News, Talk or Information - Series or Special: The Oprah Winfrey Show
1991
NAACP Image Award for Entertainer of the Year American National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
1989
NAACP Image Award American National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Outstanding News, Talk or Information - Series or Special|Outstanding News, Talk or Information - Series or Special: Oprah Winfrey: On Location in Forsythe County
Nationality
American
Politics
Democrat
Denomination
Protestant
Hobbies
Reading, photography, and spending time with her dogs

Education

University
Tennessee State University Nashville, Tennessee, USA Bachelor of Arts / Science Speech Communications and Performing Arts 19711975 Oprah left college one credit short of graduating in 1975 because she had gotten a job. Asked to give a commencement address there in 1987, Oprah felt uneasy doing so knowing that she had never graduated, and so completed one credit and graduated then.
Native language
English

Honorary Degrees

1993
Spelman College Atlanta, George, USA
2009
Duke University Durham, North Carolina, USA Doctor of Humane Letters
2013
Harvard University Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA Doctor of Laws

Family

Vital statistics

Birth information
January 29, 1954
Gender
Female
Place of birth
Kosciusko, Mississippi USA 
Marital status
Never married

Partnership

1986–present
Stedman Graham

Parents

Father
Vernon Winfrey
Mother
Vernita (Lee)

Grandparents

Mother's mother
Hattie Mae (Presley) Lee

Ancestry

89% Sub-Saharan African, 8% Native American, and 3% East Asian