Date of Birth29 January 1954, Kosciusko, Mississippi, USA
Birth NameOprah Gail Winfrey
Deepak Oprah (a sendup of Deepak Chopra, a self-help guru)
Height5' 6½" (1.69 m)
TriviaShe permanently withdrew herself and her show from consideration for a Daytime Emmy Award after being awarded the Lifetime Achievement in 1998. She was quoted as saying, "After you've achieved it for a lifetime, what else is there?"
In addition to being a news anchor on WJZ-TV13 in Baltimore, Maryland, Winfrey was co-host with Richard Sher (a reporter) on a local talk show called "People are Talking" on that station.
Graduated from East Nashville High School in Nashville, Tennessee (1971), where she was voted most popular.
Was sued by Texas cattlemen who claimed that Oprah defamed beef on her talk show. The case went to trial, causing Oprah to have to relocate her show's production to Amarillo, Texas, for the duration of the trial. She was found not liable.
She was ranked first in Entertainment Weekly's 1998 list of the most powerful people in show business, but dropped to sixth in the 1999 list. Still, she was the highest ranking performer, as well as the highest ranking woman, and the only African-American to make the list.
Graduate of Tennessee State University, with a degree in Speech and Performing Arts.
Is the first woman in history to own and produce her own talk show.
The given name on her birth certificate is Orpah, but the spelling was eventually changed to Oprah after others had difficulty pronouncing her name.
Listed as one of twelve "Promising New Actors of 1985" in John Willis' Screen World, Vol. 37.
Announced that Oprah would receive $130,000,000 for continuing her talk show through the 1999-2000 TV season. [15 September 1997]
Chosen by "People" magazine as one of the 50 Most Beautiful People in the World in 1997.
Inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame in Seneca, New York. 
She and Stedman Graham are teaching "Dynamics of Leadership" class at Northwestern University's Kellogg Graduate School of Management. [Fall 1999]
Given an honorary National Book Award for her "influential contribution to reading and books". [October 1999]
Awarded (lst) 50th anniversary medal by National Book Foundation, NYC. [November 1999]
Her immensely popular TV talk show is a Harpo Production. Harpo is Oprah spelled backwards. Harpo is also the name of a character in The Color Purple (1985) (Oprah's film debut) played by Willard E. Pugh.
Gave birth to a baby boy when she was just 14. The baby died after 2 weeks, from complications of being born 2 months premature.
Was instrumental in the passage of the Oprah Bill, in the early 1990s. The bill was signed into law by President Bill Clinton, and is aimed at stopping child abuse.
Raised in abject poverty, she received her first pair of shoes in 1959 at age 6. She learned to read at age 2½. In fact, when it was time for her to start kindergarten, she wrote a note to her teacher insisting she should be in first grade. The teacher agreed and after finishing that grade she was then skipped to third grade.
Partner is Stedman Graham. [1986 - present]
Born at 7:51 PM EST
She and her former personal trainer, Bob Greene, announced they are buying seven shoreline lots from Getty Family Trust to build several homes, including one on 102-acre lot for Oprah. They plan to put conservation first and keep site development low key. [April 2002]
Added to Forbes Billionare list, making her the first African American woman to do so. [February 2003]
Ranked #1 on VH1's list of the "200 Greatest Pop Culture Icons" (2003)
Measurements: 36-25-37 (as 18 year-old pageant contestant), 44D-29-40 (in 1990 at 200#+), 36C-25-35 (after 1995 diet), (Source: Celebrity Sleuth magazine)
Elected to the National Women's Hall of Fame in Seneca Falls, NY
Ranked #1 Pop Culture Icon on VH1's "200 Greatest Pop Culture Icons" (2003), beating out Superman and Elvis.
Net worth is estimated to be US$1.1 billion. 
Purchased a house at 3330 Radcliffe Avenue, West Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. This superb 11,000 sq ft waterfront property was on sale for Cdn $18 million, at the time British Columbia's most expensive house, but she paid Cdn $17 million (US$13 million). [June 2004]
Natural daughter of Vernon Winfrey by Vernita Lee (born 2 May 1935).
According to Forbes magazine, her 2005 net worth is $1.3 billion. She was the first African-American women to make the list of billionaires, in 2003.
Was a guest at friends Maria Shriver and Arnold Schwarzenegger's star-studded wedding
First African-American woman to become a billionaire in American history.
After years of publicly criticizing David Letterman's late-night television show, "Late Show with David Letterman" (1993), she and Letterman finally settled their differences when she agreed to appear on the December 1, 2005 episode, during which time she was to be in New York to promote her musical of The Color Purple (1985). During the Superbowl of 2007, they appeared in an advertisement together for Letterman's show. In the ad, they sat together on a couch watching the Superbowl, wearing opposing team jerseys. 
Has a cameo playing herself in Throw Momma from the Train (1987). In a "clip" from her show, she interviews a writer (the ex-wife of Billy Crystal's character) whose plagiarized and embellished "life story" is at the top of the bestseller lists (foreshadowing the James Frey controversy twenty years later).
Was #3 on the annual Forbes magazine Celebrity 100 list in 2006
Collapsed from heat exhaustion during a recent visit to her hometown of Kosciusko, Mississippi. [October 2006]
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.
Has Native American ancestry.
Appearing on the annual "Time 100" list, Time's ranking of the 100 most influential people in the world, in 2007 again, she is the only person who has been on that list five times (May 2007).
Her two-year-old golden retriever, Gracie, died after accidentally choking to death on another dog's ball [July 2007].
In 2006, she gave $58,300,000 to charity to the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy, Oprah's Angel Network, and other groups.
In 2006, she earned an estimated $260 million in salary from her various interests including syndication, cable television, and print magazines.
Thanked by Shawn Colvin in the liner notes of her album "A Few Small Repairs".
Had two half siblings from her mother. Her half brother passed away from AIDS in December 1988 and her half sister, Patricia, died under mysterious circumstances in 2003.
Ranked #1 in the 2008 Forbes The Celebrity 100 list.
Has size 10 feet.
Oprah In Australia:
She was awarded an honorary doctorate from Duke University in Durham, North Carolina in 2009 and was the 2009 Commencement Speaker.
Jeff Bridges, Michael Douglas, Ellen DeGeneres, Kevin Costner, Steve Martin, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Carol Burnett, John Cleese, Rob Lowe and Ivan Reitman are among her various Southern California neighbors.
World's first black billionairess with an estimated worth of $2.3 billion as of 2009.
Her personal chef until 2007 was Art Smith.
Recipient of the 2010 Kennedy Center Honors; other recipients that year were Jerry Herman, Paul McCartney, Merle Haggard, and Bill T. Jones.
With ratings at an estimated 6.5 million viewers per day, her show is the most popular talk show in the world.
Aunt of Chrishaunda Lee, the daughter of her deceased half-sister Patricia. Oprah walked Chrishaundra down the aisle at her wedding in 2005.
Her idol is Diana Ross.
Personal QuotesLuck is a matter of preparation meeting opportunity.
My idea of heaven is a great big baked potato and someone to share it with.
Lots of people want to ride with you in the Limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the Limo breaks down.
All my life I have always known I was born to greatness.
The essential question is not, "How busy are you?' but 'What are you busy at?' 'Are you doing what fulfills you?'
"What matters is how you feel inside, because feeling beautiful on the inside is key to looking good." quoted in Woman's World 9-20-05
The expectation of my life was that I might be able to work for some good white folks. Now I got some good white folks working for me.
Some women have a weakness for shoes... I can go barefoot if necessary. I have a weakness for books.
My philosophy is that doing your best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment.
Just want to say how deeply saddened I am, we all are, by the sudden passing of actress Natasha Richardson yesterday. Our thoughts and prayers are with her husband Liam Neeson, their two sons, the rest of their family and friends. Yet another reminder of how fleeting life can be and how precious. We need to value every moment (On Natasha Richardson's tragic death).
Part of her 2009 commencement speech at Duke: Of all the wonderful things that have happened including getting a doctorate, an honorary doctorate from Duke, what really makes me feel successful is being able to use my life in service to someone else. And I will have to say, it is a wonderful thing to have a beautiful home or homes, a wonderful thing to have a beautiful home which just escaped the fire in Santa Barbara. And it is really fantastic to have your own jet and anybody who says it isn't is lying to you. The jet thing is really good. But you haven't completed the circle of success unless you can help somebody else move forward.
On personal power: I have a lot of things to prove to myself. One is that I can live my life fearlessly.
On strategy: Doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment.
Having the best things is no substitute for having the best life.
Reaching your true potential is more than an ideal. It's the ultimate goal.
|The Color Purple (1985)||approx. $35,000|