Rags to Riches- How Oprah Winfrey built a billion-dollar empire from humble beginnings

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Oprah Winfrey, a self-made millionaire, has aroused conjecture that she would think about a 2020 presidential bid after her widely circulated Golden Globes speech.

The 63-year-old media magnate won the Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement from the Golden Globes, making history as the first black woman to do so.

During her victory speech, Winfrey discussed the reforms she believes the media industry needs to make while reflecting on her life and career.

Speaking about the current discourse in Hollywood about sexual harassment, Winfrey said, “What I know for sure is that speaking your truth is the most powerful tool we all have. And I’m especially proud and inspired by all the women who have felt strong enough and empowered enough to speak up and share their personal stories”.

Several people thought Winfrey could run for president after her motivational speech. Seth Meyers, host of the Golden Globes, made light of the prospect as Meryl Streep and civil rights leader Reverend Jesse Louis Jackson, Sr., offered their own support.

Although Winfrey started life at the other extreme, her media empire helped her become a billionaire in 2003 at the age of 49. She was raised in poverty and suffered years of sexual assault after being born in a remote area of Mississippi to an unmarried adolescent mother.

She was moved around among family members until, at the age of 14, she found a more permanent home at her dad’s house in Nashville, Tennessee. The relocation altered Winfrey’s life’s path. She did well in high school and even received a full scholarship to Tennessee State. When Winfrey left college early to pursue a career in journalism, she was taking a risk. But it was a wise gamble.

Prior to turning twenty, she worked as a local anchor in Nashville for a short while before being hired as a co-anchor in Baltimore, making history as the first black female news anchor. Eight months after starting work, she was fired after experiencing sexual harassment and humiliation there.

However, Winfrey didn’t panic; instead, after landing a job anchoring at “AM Chicago” (a morning discussion show that was in a slump), she quickly elevated it to the top spot in the community.

A year later, in 1986, the show was renamed “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” Later on, it became the highest-rated chat show in TV history. Though it launched Winfrey’s career and brought her the first million dollars, it was only the start of a prosperous and varied career.

Winfrey has since participated in plays, television shows, and movies. She received Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations for the drama “The Color Purple,” in which she made her acting debut in 1985.

In addition, she founded a private charity, a radio station, a cable channel called the Oprah Winfrey Network, and a partnership with Discovery Communications.

Winfrey’s estimated net worth as of right now is $2.8 billion. She doesn’t appear to be slowing down, either.


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