April 23, 2021

Oprah Winfrey Biography Her Life Story Told On Headliners & Legends (2004)


she didn’t start out rich and powerful she just she drew very large crowd she’s the one and only we can’t get enough of ultra from desperate beginnings to a TV and media juggernaut free speech not only lives it rocks but did you know that Oprah Winfrey had her own mountains to climb a lonely childhood laced with abuse I was raped when I was 9 molested when I was 10 what secrets did she hide we were not aware of of any pregnant Rose life where’s the camera Here I am see me WJZ biggest station of Baltimore she asks the questions that the audience wants to ask she uses media for its best purpose which is to create community 10 years to get where Oprah got in one year she’s done it all movies a local TV talk show host suddenly lands a role in a major motion picture by one of the world’s most famous director magazines motivation and transformation the question now is what can she do my intention is to empower people in this hour Oprah the legend you know and the woman you don’t this is headliners and ledger with met loner hi everyone and welcome to headliners and legends she has achieved that rarest of accolades millions of people around the world know her by her first name alone Oprah throughout her career she’s made broadcasting history starting at age 19 when she became the first african-american newscaster in Nashville her universal appeal has made her a fortune that just keeps on growing and like so many other super achievers she’s overcome enormous odds a childhood marked by grinding poverty and sexual abuse so how did this woman who’s inspired so many find inspiration herself this woman hit the daytime television schedule like our rocket and things have never been the same since smart she’s done it with a lot of style grace born January 1954 in the sleepy southern town of Kosciusko Mississippi poper Winfrey enters the world poor but with the potential for success beyond anyone’s wildest imagination her story is something that people at various levels can identify with because she didn’t start out rich or powerful she didn’t have a lot of advantages growing up Winfrey’s eighteen-year-old mother is unwed when she brings Oprah into the world she leaves Kosciusko shortly after the birth to find work in Milwaukee Winfrey’s 20 year old father is an enlisted man he finds out about his daughter while at his army base when a postcard arrives asking him to send clothes so it is Winfrey’s maternal grandmother Hattie Mae who plays the biggest role in raising young Oprah on a farm outside of town teaching her house chores and the Bible with no education my grandmother instilled in me a belief that I could aspire to do great things in my life by the age of 2 Winfrey gives her first public speech in church Jesus rose on Easter day hallelu hallelu all the Angels did proclaim and you know the sisters sitting in the front row would fan themselves and nod to my grandmother had him and they had a maid this child is gifted her gift for gab is clearly evident early on but it is an isolated and lonely childhood laced with harsh discipline you know I was raised on a farm in Mississippi with a grandmother who whipped me every day in my life it would be called child abuse now sure she’s not whip whip whip whooped they called it whip then there is a difference you know some people you know and for a long time I thought it would be good to be a little white girl because they got spanked they got spanked but we got whooped by 1960 at age six Winfrey moves to Milwaukee to live with her mother and half-sister the three of them the mother and the two daughters lived in a one-room apartment Waukee I used to like collect cockroaches because I this is true collect cockroaches because I we couldn’t afford her dog and so you know you could go in the kitchen at any time of the night and there’d be a family put a miniature in their small apartment Winfrey’s single mother has trouble controlling Oprah she works long hours and ominously Oprah is left in the care of mostly male relatives there was a cousin who lived with him for several years and he began to sand and they were sleeping together by virtue of the fact there was no room and in time there was problems there in an impoverished environment filled with fear and insecurity Winfrey falls victim to her surroundings years later she will talk about her sexual abuse at the hands of an uncle and cousin I was raped when I was nine and he’d the rape and and was molested when I was 10 and that went on for years like from age 10 to 14 but at school all this is deeply hidden in fact she is an avid reader who excels in her class work for her freshman year in high school she selected for a gifted program and goes to the private suburban Nicolay school this was part of an integration program I had in Milwaukee the center – were basically all-white high school further in the suburbs but there are big behavioral problems the psychological effects of the years of sexual abuse have taken their toll she’s frequently having sexual intercourse with boys as old as 19 and at one point runs away from home by her sophomore year her mother cannot control her and tries once more to send her away this time to a home she literally took her to this home and went in the admissions office and they told her they were full up and they couldn’t accept anymore for now it’s an experience that Winfrey will later draw upon in her crusade for legislation fighting child abuse but for now weren’t free salvation comes when her mother sends her back to Nashville to live with her father and stepmother but she brings with her a painful secret a secret her father Vernon would later admit that he had suspected we were not aware of of in pregnant when she came back but I noticed she kept on on cold a lot but no piano at age 14 Winfrey miscarries a baby boy her father encourages her to take a hard look at her life and make some changes now she was moved into a very rigid regime under her father and her stepmother who insisted that she read a book a week and write a report with a burning desire not only to prove to herself but to her dad that she is a good person Winfrey attends East Nashville High School and thous to clean up her act when she got to Nashville she became an excellence – she came by the public speaker she a public performer she was and she was doing all these things that were required of her but not just by East Nashville High School but also by her her father and her stepmother she works in her father’s store and has given responsibilities and a strict curfew the promiscuity ends and she even asks her father’s permission before dating her first steady boyfriend Anthony otech Winfrey’s life slowly begins to turn around signs of her true potential start to blossom but of course this is just the beginning next a twist of fate the makeover disaster that nearly destroyed her career Oprah is now shipped back to Baltimore fall instead it sets her on a new path in 1971 Oprah Winfrey is a senior in high school she’s a motivated young woman who acts in school plays and gets elected student council president it is also the year that her career in broadcasting begins with an act of charity and a lucky break I am the person who discovered Oprah John Heidelberg is the owner of w vol radio station in Nashville Tennessee he sponsors Winfrey for a walkathon and is impressed by the young woman which he was a very articulate young lady she had old seemed to have a lot on the ball she was just bubbling with enthusiasm and I was I was listening very carefully to a voice and I thought she couldn’t have a great career in radio heidelberg has her read a bit of the day’s news to him and then sends her to audition for the station manager what we call in the news business of rip and read they just ripped the news copy off of the wire and Astrid read and they love the way she read it Winfrey is offered a job to read the news for $100 a week but first she needs and wants permission from her domineering father whose authority is absolute it took about three weeks really to convince him that we wanted her to come out when he’s finally convinced Oprah is a hit she’s a senior in high school and they give her a job this is her first broadcasting job and so she comes in every day after school and reads the news there was no fear she was bubbly she was full of energy I mean she was it was like it was a whole new world for her it was exciting and it was exciting to see her work next Heidelberg exposes seventeen-year-old Winfrey to the camera for the first time when he escorts her to Nashville’s Miss fire-prevention contest sponsored by W vol there was me and then there was all these other redheads red haired girls so I was the little Negro girl nobody expected me to win and certainly I didn’t and they asked you know when they asked the question what would you like to do if you if you had a million dollars and they say oh if I had a million dollars I’d give it to the poor and I said a million dollars I’d spend it and she won the contest everybody was just ecstatic and after she won the contest there was some newspaper people there there was a local television station I don’t remember which one and and the cameras were everywhere and Oprah was like where’s the camera Here I am where’s the camera come over here see me she loved that limelight she went Wow now on a roll she attends the all-black Tennessee State University despite the student protests sweeping the nation at the time Winfrey avoids the black militant movement that dominates the campus meanwhile the CBS affiliate in Nashville is looking for minority employees and offers Winfrey an on-air reporting job she’s only 19 years old years later she will describe on-camera for People magazine how she’s hesitant to take the job until a professor encourages her I turned them down finally I had a college professor mr.

Cox who said you are the biggest boot you’re the biggest fool I ever saw mr. Cox and he said that is why people go to college fool so that CPS can call them by 1973 earning $15,000 a year Winfrey is the first female and the first black newscaster to ever hit the air in Nashville you’ve got to appreciate what it means for black female anchor in Nashville Tennessee in the 70s and with a breakthrough that lost for television seen here hustling in the newsroom her unpretentious style makes her an instant success but she’s still living with her father and after three years as a news anchor in Nashville at age 22 she decides it’s time to move on she takes a job as a feature reporter and co-anchor for the Eyewitness News at the higher-profile ABC TV station WJZ in Baltimore Maryland today well Steve it’s a different kind of proposal that has water men at coal point on the Chesapeake Bay upset this afternoon her career seems to be on the fast track but now it hits a rough spot her look doesn’t fit management’s image of the typical newscaster so they set out to make her over sending her to a fancy beauty salon in New York City the result a perm gone bad that within a week causes all of Winfrey’s hair to fall out Oprah is now shipped back to Baltimore bald it’s in the newsroom that she also meets colleague Gayle King who remains to this day Winfrey’s best friend there was a horrible snowstorm one night and Oprah said just spend the night with me so we go home that night we end up staying up till 3 o’clock in the morning like we were 13 years old tat talking and laughing and giggling but professionally what has worked for Winfrey in Nashville doesn’t play in a more sophisticated Baltimore news market the novice journalist is at times overwhelmed and unprepared for the demands of the job WJZ biggest station in Baltimore the problem was Oprah is not a news person Winfrey’s style of reporting while passionate is at times overly emotional for news but management soon hits on the solution and they don’t know what to do with her finally somebody said look we’ve got this morning show it’s a sort of a housewife II interview show with a sweet guy that has done this show for a long time and it’s opposite the Donahue show in August 1978 Oprah Winfrey co-host with Richard church on Baltimore’s morning talk show people are talking it marks the start of a brilliant career in a television Chandra that Quincy will eventually dominate coming up behind the battle of the TV talk shows oprah goes toe-to-toe with bill and she connected women in a very special way by the late 70s oprah winfrey is honing the style that will make her a superstar the format for her baltimore stations people are talking gifs winfrey the freedom to relate to guests the way she does best she’s a good listener and delves deeply into the show’s topics she then hit upon something there that is her Keystone that is the thing that makes her so so good as a talk show host in that she asks the questions that the audience wants to ask it was sort of a chat show and she was certainly become very successful there but she did have a co-host and it wasn’t quite the forum that she had hoped for so early on Oprah was very was famous for sort of saying anything and taking people by surprise 37 pounds of the incredible before long the spontaneity and energy of the show gives it an audience that in Baltimore’s local ratings beats the long-standing king of daytime talk TV Phil Donahue well the first time I heard the name Oprah Winfrey she was working in Baltimore and I had not seen the program and I heard many many interesting things I mean the fact that she was different this wasn’t just another talk show personality used to watch Phil all the time I watched him all of the time when I first started doing my own talk show in 1978 I found myself saying is the caller there but while the show and her career are doing great Winfrey is involved in a love affair with a married man who she never identifies the affair crushes Winfrey and when it becomes apparent that her lover will never leave his wife she considers suicide for the next five years she dates very little a job offer in Chicago helps to put her Baltimore troubles behind her she starts working in the third largest television market in the country on New Year’s Day 1984 Winfrey debuts as the host of am Chicago on wls it’s a morning talk show which pits her against Phil Donahue on his own home turf it really wasn’t anybody else doing talk shows at that time he had done it for more than a decade at that point and she was something completely different Winfrey sets out to do what she does best but all she’s asked is to attract an audience large enough to rank second against Donahue to keep wls station managers happy Donahue is this gray-haired sort of professorial kind of guy who liked to argue and here was this large african-american woman who sort of like to cuddle with her audience and make people cry I mean people didn’t cry on television before Oprah sort of hit the landscape I think Oprah’s show like Phil Donahue’s before it was and is a kind of portable public consciousness-raising so that people who have had some experience and feel alone in it can turn on the show and see that other people share it in just two months she revolutionizes her show into one where a host reveals as much as her guests the result Winfrey not only competes with Phil Donahue she attracts double his Chicago audience and take the first place in the local ratings to his credit he always used to say if I succeed the person who replaces me will be a black woman she just clicked and I don’t think there was any there were any exceptions to her popularity across the demographic spectrum she drew very large crowds in 1986 AM Chicago is renamed the Oprah Winfrey Show and goes national seen in almost 6 million homes the competition is once again Donoghue and it marks the birth of a new era in talk-show personalities I think certainly she connected into women in a very special way welcome to the Winfrey’s exceptional talents and mass appeal once again bring huge audiences well it took us 10 years to get where Oprah got in one year we spent 10 years energy growth in just one season on national TV The Oprah Winfrey Show takes first place from the 19 year old Phil Donahue show and then to watch in the mid eighties Oprah get herself in the way over 200 markets in less than a year it was breathtaking I think that Oprah is the same off-camera as on camera I think that’s the secret of her success the camera is what kind of x-ray machine that does tell you a lot about character and you can after a while see whether someone’s pretending I don’t think Oprah is Winfrey’s true character does shine through on camera by sharing so much of herself with her guests this clip from a show in 1990 introduces so many painful memories from her childhood that Winfrey is nearly rendered incapable of finishing the segment was videotaped because to be able to understand that they are not alone in their abuse and that is why we are doing this show the saying of it on the air for me was really quite not only cathartic but very therapeutic and just getting the words out but I still had not released all of the shame early on when she was in Chicago and she talked in the air about having been sexually abused by a few relatives you know we confessional television is something we see every day now it didn’t exist before then over the next decade Winfrey will continue to comfort inspire and exhibit a special ability to relate to her guests and viewers by being so open I think that is why I feel so comfortable with our audiences because I feel like I have so much in common with them her constant drive to become the best that she can be comes an integral part of the Oprah Winfrey Show when she rethinks her program takes on Hollywood roles and fights an ongoing battle with her weight coming up who could have imagined this is the kind of Hollywood success story that Hollywood used to make movies about a local TV talk show host suddenly lands our role and to make a motion picture by one of the world famous director as headliners and legends continues his headliners and legend with Matt Wow by the mid-1980s Oprah Winfrey is the proud host of the number one talk show on television it goes on to win more than 30 Emmys and reaches an average of seven and a half million viewers every day in the United States alone but she’s constantly striving to reinvent herself and the show and there are plenty of bumps along the way a constant struggle with her weight a highly publicized lawsuit and a beloved movie project that flops at the box office gone up and down and up and I’ve been on every diet if you try the banana weenie and egg diet banana a weenie and egg I’ve done the pickles and peanut butter diet in January 1985 Oprah Winfrey’s size becomes a talking point when she makes the rounds on the talk show circuit and you lose 15 you will yeah it’s a deal it’s a deal but despite Goofy’s enthusiasm for dieting and losing weight her next career move calls for her to put on even more Quincy Jones sees her show and feels that she is a perfect candidate to connect with the characters and act in the color purple he introduces her to audition with Willard puke Whoopi Goldberg and Danny Glover for famed filmmaker Steven Spielberg my talk show in Chicago and Quincy saw me on the air which allowed me to be screen tested right after the second screen test Stephen called Willard and I upstairs and he said I just want you to know that the chemistry between you is very good I really like what I saw today because we’ve done all these improvisation with with Danny Glover and Whoopi we’re also just really nervous because we didn’t know what was gonna happen and you know Stevens so there we were and he said I want you to know that you’ve got it like that God got it this is April Fool’s Day as a matter of fact you’ve got the part I thought it’s the best single best feeling I’ve ever had we’re just sauce really loudly congratulating ourselves and each other quite wonderful this is the kind of Hollywood success story that Hollywood used to make movies about a local TV talk show host suddenly lands a role in a major motion picture by one of the world’s most famous directors the color purple propels her into Hollywood as a noteworthy actor Winfrey’s emotionally-charged performance and connection to her role playing Sophia a woman physically and mentally beaten down in the post-slavery rural South received critical acclaim and nominations for both an Oscar and Golden Globe Award I know what a night Missy wanna go some way okay she’s so natural that she can do what other people train for 20 years to do in the movie suggest be herself it’s at this time that Winfrey also gets asked out by Chicago businessman Stedman Graham the self-conscious Winfrey hasn’t been dating and is hesitant to start a relationship she rejects Graeme’s first two offers to get together and it’s only after the third attempt when he says he won’t call again that they go on a date seven years later in the fall of 1992 the couple gets engaged but supposedly because of conflicting schedules the wedding never happens they have been keeping us guessing about their intentions ever since Oprah’s gal pal won’t let her Wed Stedman here on these Gayle King show in 1997 Winfrey and Graham are put on the spot I’m wondering why we have both of you here why don’t you just go ahead and announce on the Gail King show that wet day I think we have a deep love and caring for each other it works so well the way it is I wouldn’t want to kind of mess it up because I’ve seen some marriages go the other way but I think that for us for us this is what works for us right now which is not to say that we never would get married there have been rumors of all sorts of things everyt if they have there’s a there’s a blow-up there’s a thing on the front page of The Inquirer there are also rumors that Winfrey is gay which becomes so persistent that she feels pressure to publicly deny them the rumors and gossip do nothing to hurt the popularity of her show in fact by 1986 the show was doing so well in syndication that she strikes a deal for a salary of 30 million dollars a year and in 1987 she takes home her first Emmy for outstanding talk show host and thanks Phil Donahue for watching the talk show genres but I would like to thank Phil Donahue because 20 years ago when Donahue started people who were managers in television thought that women were only interested in mascara tips and how to stuff a cabbage in 1988 Winfrey obtained ownership and complete control of her show taping from her new Chicago studio Harpo Productions named by spelling Oprah backwards over the next several years she tackles topics ranging from beauty makeovers to the ku klux plan and of course weight loss I think it is and this let me tell you those of you who are starting dieting or dieting a little bit this is what 67 pounds of fat looks like it’s a dramatic illustration but the diet doesn’t last when I came off of that fasting diet in 1988 my metabolism everything I put into my body into my mouth Katie I was I would like gain weight I could sit down and eat a meal and I can get up on the scale would be two more pounds by 1992 Winfrey has gained back 90 pounds and is humiliated when she must stand in front of a national audience to receive another Emmy for outstanding talk show host it’s a reality check for Winfrey and she immediately hires a personal trainer to get back in shape Katy I knew her two days she was 237 pounds and she says you know someday I’d like to run a marathon I think that’s really interesting I dropped like three or four pounds the first week and then bleep back up to 222 222 pounds which was heavier than the heavyweight champion of the world at the time and I was so disgusted with Bob I was ready to kick him to the curb but the training pays off at the age of 40 in October 1994 Winfrey realizes a dream by finishing Washington’s Marine Corps Marathon in four hours and 29 minutes Winfrey discovers an inner strength and spirituality that will soon be integrated into her show when she takes a look at her industry and doesn’t like what she sees she started to watch the Jerry Springer’s of the world and she could see why people were criticizing daytime talk shows why they had become a punchline wherever they were discussed she decides to take a different route she refocuses the content and style of her show and calls it change your life TV the underlying premise is for every guest to maintain their dignity and in the process change their lives for the better she uses media I think for its best purpose which is to create community unfortunately a lot of the other talk shows have shifted from showing shared experience to showing the least shared experience to being freak shows her show steers clear of tabloid and shock topics and instead concentrates on a daily dose of spiritual uplifting initially it takes a hit in the ratings but viewers soon get used to the new format and keep coming back for more it makes her achievement all the more impressive anybody can get a crowd with naked ladies and Oprah doesn’t even try and gets a big crowd anyway all right Oprah doesn’t necessarily counsel herself she listens to people’s problems she helps them to share them I think that she set on being miss spirituality as a TV person I don’t happen to think it’s always the greatest television she knows her audience and her audience likes it while Winfrey focuses on her show she also takes a personal crusade to the Senate floor and defense her right to free speech next Oprah battles her demons in the national spotlight I hope is that we can stop repeat child molesters from having access to children as headliners and legends continues but the king changed the laws at the transform the legal structure no one has ever done more to transform the social culture in 1991 Oprah Winfrey hears a local news story about a young child molested and killed by a neighbor who is a repeat sex offender the story and her own unhappy childhood become the catalyst for her campaign to establish a national registry of child abusers my hope is that we can stop repeat child molesters from having access to children in working environments from childcare organizations that provides child care to children testifying before Congress and campaigning in the media she draws upon her own experiences to make a heartfelt and compelling argument when you are a little girl or a little boy growing up many times the adults are the ones who make you feel that you are the one to blame and I remember being told by my uncle who was the last person to molest me that you know I had asked for it and that if ever I told that that’s what would be said and so I didn’t tell until you know I was you know much older until I was an adult her efforts over the next two years result in the Child Protection Act more commonly known as the oprah bill signed into law by President Clinton in 1993 as he used her fame only to create a platform for herself many artists and writers are now performing and functioning because of Oprah she’s been able to live out her not just a dream with our fantasies another fantasy Winfrey incorporates into her show creates a buzz around books in September 1996 she launches the Oprah book club and she’s introducing to many people the joy of the intimate personal pleasure of being by yourself of the book once a month Winfrey selects a book that she feels passionate about she opens up her show to discuss the book with members of her audience and a guest author some of the authors are already well-known many are not and for the latter the experience can be transforming before the Oprah Winfrey Show Minette and say is a relatively unknown writer struggling to overcome a debilitating illness I played the piano since I was two years old and I was a piano performance major at Peabody Conservatory and I began having muscle weakness in my arms and legs and eventually I had to leave school and became very very sick I was bedridden for about 18 months but in the fall of 1999 an se gets a phone call from Winfrey that forever changes her life this is Oprah Winfrey how are you doing this evening and it was her Winfrey tells aunt say that she’s picked her novel vinegar hill for the book club a couple of weeks later she finds herself in the hands of a master sitting on the set of The Oprah Winfrey Show I imagine a lot of cold executive-type producers running around with notebooks I was so warmed and shocked and amazed to find that these are real people who care deeply and passionately about what they were doing preparation skill and respect for your audience she is the consummate artist the oprah experience will turn an se into an instant best-selling author within the first month it had sold over a million and it has sold internationally we’ve sold movie rights this was a book that when it first came out didn’t even go to paperback but not everyone is so inspired by the book club it receives criticism for Oprah’s choices when Oprah tackles a topic she does stay close to home she does the stuff that she believes in and the books that she’s backed have been touchy-feely get in touch with yourself and your world will be better kind of books food is another topic close to home and in a show on April 1996 Winfrey says that the notion of mad cow disease just stopped me from eating another burger two years later she’s in an amaryllis courthouse to defend herself and her show against a ten million dollar lawsuit claiming that she helped drive beef prices to a ten-year love more than a month later On February 6 1998 a jury finds Winfrey not liable for her statements my reaction is that free speech not only lives it rocks I think an individual even somebody’s powerful is Oprah taking on good old boys he’s a lot of what Oprah has been about Oprah did not flinch she turned they attempt to destroy her into a platform next Oprah sets her sights on a future that might surprise keep on creating more horizon my intention is to empower as headliners and legends continues these days Oprah Winfrey’s burgeoning career is about much more than talk shows branching out into publishing the internet and television production by 1998 not only has she won seven Daytime Emmys but also one for lifetime achievement there is only one thing greater than the size of Oprah Winfrey’s accomplishments and that is the size of her heart Winfrey produces and stars in the well-received made for TV miniseries women of Brewster place that helps chronicle the experience of african-american women a tear down this wall my bare hands they just send somebody in the next day to put it up again and she has another project called Oprah Winfrey presents to turn books into movies for ABC TV 98 also marks the end of a ten-year project the film beloved based on a Toni Morrison book Winfrey had read years earlier I felt numbed by it and kind of overwhelmed by it and but I did feel that I had experienced this life in these lives in a way that I hadn’t from a book before and what I wanted was was for people to feel that on the screen Winfrey executive producers and stars as the matriarch in the film it evokes so many raw emotions including motherhood and the pain of slavery that the project leaves Winfrey physically and emotionally drained after Kimberly Elise plays her daughter we ran the gamut of emotions and making that film on screen and off she has she can look at the world with the comedians eye and come out with these quick quick quips that just would crack everybody up and lighten everything out and but then she’d be back where she needed to be when it was time to let it flow while the movie gains some critical acclaim there are problems at the box office audiences stay away in droves the film only grosses half of what it cost to make I think some people peg the the problems with beloved – a backlash against Oprah was sort of popular at the time to say people were sick of Oprah she was everywhere the poor reception for beloved reportedly sends Winfrey into a month-long funk for anybody who’d put in so much of their spirit into something that they believed in so much their time their heart their love their their day job their weight their every part of their being waking and sleeping I think anybody who did that and felt that it had been rejected by those that she made it for would be heartbroken beloved will not be Oprah’s only lackluster project in 2000 she invests in a new television network for women called oxygen while the channel and his related website struggle Oprah has more immediate success with the launch of her magazine Oh every month we’re gonna try to present a magazine that allows you to see yourself differently that offers an opportunity for you to experience the interior life peel back the layers of yourself look at who you really are read stories about other people who have done it accomplished dreamed big done well her magazine carries the same message of personal fulfillment and self empowerment as her show and to help make sure editorial issues are brought to her attention weekly hires best friend Gayle King to be OHS editor-at-large the real test is whether or not Oh can tell bad news and be honest in the same way the show is because advertisers don’t like that the launch of the magazine sells a record-breaking million and a half issues and it’s continued success is likely with Winfrey gracing the cover and constantly demanding more from herself and her staff she came from very humble beginnings to become one of the greatest media people of all time no Brooke came on in the 80s grabbed the baton and she’s still running and I say god bless her I just think it’s a wonderful success story and a well-deserving one this is she’s just a very very unusually talented today Winfrey’s wealth is estimated at more than a billion dollars she is the first African American woman to become a billionaire and in June 2001 in what may be one of the priciest residential deals ever in u.s.

Real estate Oprah reportedly purchases her California Dream House for 50 million dollars and the story goes she pays for it with a personal check it’s very interesting this whole money thing to me because I think money’s fun I think it’s fine and I think it serves its purpose and it’s really done well by me but it is not in any way what defines me and while she is touching more lives than ever she is cautious of becoming burnt out the often exhausted Winfrey is eager to lighten her load and find the personal balance she produced to her viewers yeah every day my intention is to empower people and my intention is for other people to recognize by watching our show that you really are responsible for your life The Oprah Winfrey Show will run at least the year 2008 she celebrates her 50th birthday on the program with a special live broadcast Winfrey continues to explore new ventures and her willingness to take risks has become her legacy to the public and her fans they are no more boundaries as to what one person of color what a woman can do the group offer possibilities and she keeps on expanding that keeps on creating more more horizons and she keeps pushing them back for me it’s you know follow your heart baby girl listen to your heart it doesn’t lie to you God can dream bigger dreams than you could ever imagine and trust in those and the flowers will reach up and touch you talented intriguing and altruistic regardless of the medium her down-home image and her triumph over a potentially devastating childhood makes Oprah Winfrey one of the most recognizable and influential women alive today celebrity is is light some people turn the light in what it seems to me Oprah use light to illuminate dark places she was a heat to warm up cold places so the way she came the way I always thought I was gonna be a fourth grade teacher and I know I would be the same person inside myself even if I was just teaching fourth graders I would still have the same you know values the same principles consider this Oprah once asked her viewers to donate between 1 and $100 to Elizabeth Taylor’s aids campaign that appeal alone generated $400,000 it’s no wonder the Time magazine voted her one of the most influential people of the 20th century I’m Matt Lauer thanks for watching for information on upcoming programs go to prime msnbc.com you you

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