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MAIN Arrow to Art & Culture Art & ... Arrow to Pop Culture Pop Culture Oprah Winfrey

Oprah WinfreyOprah Winfrey, the once and future "Queen of Daytime" was born January 29, 1954 in Kosciusko, Mississippi, and began working in local radio while still in school.

Smart, dynamic and engaging, Winfrey attended Tennessee State University in 1971 to study speech and performing arts, and the following year entered and won the Miss Black Tennessee contest.

At 19, she became the youngest person - and the first African-American woman - to anchor the news at Nashville's WTVF-TV. She later co-anchored for Baltimore's WJZ-TV six o'clock news before co-hosting their local talk show, People Are Talking.

Winfrey's first foray into hosting/producing came in 1986, with a solid hit on Chicago's WLS-TV's The Oprah Winfrey Show that went on to become the highest-rated talk show in TV history with a weekly audience of 26 million.

Not limiting her appearances to the small screen, Winfrey later starred in the Steven Spielberg blockbuster The Color Purple in 1985 and in the less successful Beloved in 1998.

Winfrey has translated that popularity into a multi-million dollar empire and her own production studio, along with inclusion into the upper reaches of influence as one of America's wealthiest people.

Her talk show continued to be broadcast in 112 countries and remained the most popular on the planet until 2011 when Winfrey announced plans to jump to cable on her own network, OWN.

Oprah in the News

Oprah Winfrey on the cover of Time magazine
TIME cover,
October 1998

Early in 2006, Winfrey's credibility was called into question over a scandal in which she publicly praised James Frey's memoir, "A Million Little Pieces." a story of drug abuse and recovery that became one of the best-selling books of 2005 after Winfrey named it to her book club. The memoir was later revealed to be "riddled with lies." (Later, Winfrey later confronted Frey on the issue in a famous live telecast in which the author apologized.)

In 2007, Winfrey returned to her radio station roots by signing a three-year, $55 million agreement with XM Satellite Radio to establish a new radio channel, Oprah Radio featuring health & fitness topics and include a weekly radio show hosted by Winfrey and friend Gayle King.

Her media empire also includes her own cable network, OWN, with which the daytime mega-star has struggled to grow a viewership since she retired the Oprah Winfrey show in 2011.

Off screen, Winfrey threw her considerable resources behind the 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns of Barack Obama, and stumped for the African-American candidate on the campaign trail.

More about Oprah Winfrey around the Web:
- The latest TV schedule and previews, inspirational stories and feature articles, online forums and more.

Oprah - A major fan with a major site, featuring links to over a dozen different Oprah biographies, Oprah theme audio clips, interviews, quotes and trivia, including an extensive photo gallery chronicling her life and career.

Oprah Winfrey - Wikipedia - The online encyclopedia with a hyperlinked autobiography and related links.

Oprah Winfrey - Academy of Achievement - Complete biography, pictures, quotes.

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