The Woman For The World
Oprah Gail Winfrey (born January 29, 1954) is the American television host, actress, producer and philanthropist, best known for her self-titled, multi-award winning Talk Show which became the highest-rated programme of its kind in history. She has been ranked the richest African-American of the 20th century and beyond. The greatest Black Philanthropist in American history and was once the world's only Black billionaire. She is also, according to some assessments, the most influential woman in the world.
Winfrey was born into poverty in rural Mississippi to a teenage single mother and later raised in an inner-city Milwaukee neighbourhood. She experienced considerable hardship during her childhood. Sent to live with the man she calls her father, a barber in Tennessee, Winfrey landed a job in radio while still in high school and began co-anchoring the local evening news at the age of 19. Her emotional ad-lib delivery eventually got her transferred to the daytime talk show arena and after boosting a third-rated local Chicago talk show to first place; she launched her own production company and became internationally syndicated.
Credited with creating a more intimate confessional form of media communication, Oprah has popularized and revolutionized the tabloid talk show, genre pioneered by Phil Donahue which, a Yale study claims broke 20th century taboos and allowed Black people to enter the mainstream. By the mid 1990s, she had reinvented her show with a focus on literature, self-improvement and spirituality. Though criticized for unleashing confession culture and promoting controversial self-help fads, she is also praised for overcoming adversity to become a benefactor to others. The rest, as they say, is certainly history… an essential part of Black History!
From 2006 to 2008, Oprah’s support of Barack Obama, by one estimate, delivered over a million votes in the close of the 2008 Democratic primary race, an achievement for which the Governor of Illinois considered offering her a seat in the US Senate. Her influence in this political arena reached far and wide and further enhanced her Iconic role in society. And, no doubt that this indomitable Talk Show Queen will continue to set new trends in not just the entertainment and political world but for the global community in general whilst personifying the Icon that all Black women will attempt to emulate.