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Name: Oprah Winfrey
Birth Date: January 29th, 1954
Birth Place: Kosciusko Mississippi
Occupation: Talk Show Host
is an inspirational one. Born on January 29th,
1954 in Kosciusko Mississippi, Winfrey's name
was originally "Orpah," after the
biblical figure in the book of Ruth. Several
different stories allude to the fact that either
a misspelling on her birth certificate or a
struggle with the pronunciation of her name
eventually led to "Oprah" being adopted
as her given name.
Our love for Oprah is based on sheer admiration.
She has broken down barriers to become one of
the most recognizable and wealthy women in television
history (not to mention the entertainment industry).
A veritable legend, Oprah continues to empower
fans with her talk show and empire.
A national success for 17 years (and counting),
The Oprah Winfrey Show outdistances all other
programs of its kind by connecting with people
in a profound way. Winfrey's use of the show
to inform the world of numerous "life lessons"
has made her one of the most influential people
not only in television, but also in society
in general. Thanks to her tremendous appeal
and many branches of Harpo (her production company),
Oprah has become the first African-American
female billionaire, but more importantly, a
revered figure for all time.
Of course, she bounced back. Reaching over 100
countries and 26 million homes in the U.S. daily,
The Oprah Winfrey Show is one of a kind. And
in 1994, Winfrey refocused the issues raised
on the program. Instead of being almost Jerry
Springer-like in content, as it was in the beginning,
The Oprah Winfrey Show now asks viewers to "get
with the program," focusing on self-improvement
and the uplifting stories of everyday people.
She also launched her phenomenally successful
Book Club in 1996, which propelled every book
featured onto bestseller lists nationwide.
Oprah has turned her successful daytime show
into an empire; her interactive women's network
known as Oxygen TV, O magazine and Angel Network
are only three of her many successful ventures.
Time magazine recognized her influence and named
her one of the 100 Most Influential People of
the 20th Century, not only because of her show,
but also because of her charitable efforts.
As proof of her golden heart, look no further
than an instance in 1993 when, after heavy lobbying
by Winfrey, President Clinton passed the Oprah
Bill, aimed at putting an end to child abuse
by establishing a database of child molesters
in the nation.
Now the only African-American woman to ever
be included on Forbes' billionaire list, Winfrey
has perhaps run out of incredible "firsts"
to call her own. Or -- with long-term beau Stedman
Graham by her side.
Winfrey Gives Girls the Chance to Shine in South
Winfrey launched the Oprah Winfrey Leadership
Academy, school for girls, by admitting the
first 150 students set to begin classes in January
2007. The school --a $40 million personal project
of Winfrey's-- is free to the students grades
7 to 12.
"I'm going to ensure that every girl who
wants to go to university will go, either in
South Africa or anywhere in the world, all you
have to do is work hard," said Winfrey
Winfrey's idea was born in 2002 when she ask
Nelson Mandela what she could do for South Africa.
The former South Africa president told Winfrey
to build a school.
"The money means nothing to me," 52-year-old
Winfrey told CNN. "When I look at these
girls, I see me. That's why I want to give them
everything I didn't have growing up. These are
the leaders of tomorrow's Africa."
The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy is set
on more than 50 acres outside Johannesburg and
includes classrooms, dormitories, a dining room,
library, and a 600-seat auditorium. Winfrey
said it had to have an auditorium, because that
stage is where leaders are born.
Admission to the school required high grades
from those girls who applied to attend, and
Winfrey interviewed each candidate personally.
The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy sets "rigorous"
and high standards for girls in an environment
that engenders academic achievement and service
leadership, according to the administrator's
At a ceremony given in honor of the girls chosen
for school year 2007, Winfrey told the girls
and their parents that she had grown up in impoverished
Mississippi and could relate with the girls
"I wanted to do this school for disadvantaged
girls because I was disadvantaged myself."
"I want you to know that these are our
daughters, I want you to trust me with them.
I will create a good education environment for
them and the world will know who these girls
are," Winfrey told parents at the ceremony.
Winfrey added that she would return to South
Africa before the school opens on 2 January
2007 and take all parents to the campus so they
could see that their children would be at a
The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy has a high-tech
security system to ensure that the children
would be learning in a safe environment.
Future Leadership Academy and 12-year old student,
Busisiwe Zasekhaya of Alexandra, South Africa,
had this to say, "It feels like a dream
come true. I will make use of this opportunity
to make my aunt and the country proud."
Zasekhaya, who has been raised by her aunt,
said her goal is to become a businesswoman after
earning her diploma and that she would like
to help children who have been orphaned by HIV/AIDS.
Legends Ball (2006) (TV) (executive
- Their Eyes Were Watching
God (2005) (TV) (executive producer)
- "Oprah After the
Show" (2002) TV Series (executive
- Amy & Isabelle (2001)
(TV) (executive producer) (producer)
- Tuesdays with Morrie (1999)
(TV) (executive producer)
- David and Lisa (1998)
(TV) (executive producer)
- Beloved (1998/I) (producer)
- The Wedding (1998) (TV)
- Before Women Had Wings
(1997) (TV) (producer)
- Michael Jackson Talks...
to Oprah: 90 Primetime Minutes with
the King of Pop (1993) (TV) (executive
- Overexposed (1992) (TV)
- Nine (1992) (TV) (executive
- The Women of Brewster
Place (1989) (TV) (executive producer)
- "The Oprah Winfrey
Show" (1986) TV Series (supervising
... aka Oprah (USA: short title)