Updated: Jun 1
Oprah Winfrey is a host, philanthropist, actress, producerand all-around media mogul. Winfrey revolutionized the daytime talk show format with the groundbreaking "The Oprah Winfrey Show," which was nationally syndicated for 25 seasons between 1986 and 2011. The program's wild success made Winfrey one of the richest and most influential women in the media industry. Not only was "The Oprah Winfrey Show," widely successful beyond Winfrey's expectations, but it made her the first woman to own, produce, and host her own talk show.
Winfrey grew up in borderline poverty throughout her childhood and teen years. As a teenager she birthed a young son who unfortunately died due to premature birth Soon after she moved in with her father in Tennessee where she attended high school and started her career in radio. By the time she was 19 she began working as co-anchor on her local evening news show.
Entering into the late 1980s Winfrey started to push towards creating her own show. Her often boisterous, emotional and sometimes spiritual personality lended itself more towards the daytime talk show format.
Throughout the show's tenure it was both applauded and criticized for being very emotion centered and spiritual in nature. The show is often credited with unleashing a confession culture, and promoting self-help ideas.
All together she has received, 18 Daytime Emmy Awards, two Primetime Emmy Awards, a Tony Award, a Peabody Award and the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, awarded by the Academy Awards and two additional Academy Award nominations as well as the presidential medal of freedom awarded by Barack Obama and two honorary doctorate awards from both Duke and Harvard.
Following the end of her talk show Winfrey created her own television network, the Oprah Winfrey Network OWN in 2011. Her network showcases lifestyle programming targeting African American audiences.
While she does not step out into the spotlight as regularly as she once did her interviews still continue to make headlines every so often.
Currently she remains the owner of OWN network, her own magazine, O, and continues to work on other side projects as she pleases. At 67 Winfrey continues to be an inspirational figure to all people.