Oprah Winfrey is an American television producer, talk show host, actress, author, businessperson, journalist, voice actress, film producer, and philanthropist. She is the founder of HARPO productions.
Oprah Gail Winfrey was born to a teenage mother in the city of Mississippi, in January 1954. She has been able to raise herself out of the poverty and abuse she was born into to become one of the wealthiest women in American history. She is also one of the most influential people on the planet. Although we all know her name as Oprah, that is a misspelling of her name. Her actual name is Orpah, which is a reference to a figure in the bible. However, the name ‘Oprah’ eventually stuck and she rolled with it.
Oprah’s mother was a teenage housemaid known as Vernita Lee and her father was an armed forces soldier known as Vernon Winfrey. He was in the Armed Forces around the time Oprah was born. Due to the severe poverty, she was born into, Oprah had to wear potato sacks at some point as her school uniform.
Oprah ran away from home at 13 after she suffered abuse while living with her father. She then became pregnant at 14 and gave birth to a son prematurely. The son later died that year. Oprah won a Miss Black Beauty pageant that led to her getting a job at a local radio station known as WVOL where she worked as a news anchor when she was around 17. She then earned a scholarship to learn communication at the Tennessee state university. She finally left school at 19 to pursue a media career.
She started hosting a talk show known as ‘People Are Talking’, and she was earning about $220,000 a year at the time, which is about $560,000 today when adjusted for inflation. She was then given a $1 million contract over 4 years to host her talk show. This show was later renamed ‘The Oprah Winfrey Show’ in 1986 after she brought in high ratings.
After negotiations between her and the producers of her show stalled, Oprah then went out and established HARPO productions along with a man named Jeffrey Jacobs. This became a real competition for the media, especially to King World who had refused to renegotiate her contract with them since Oprah was attracting a high number of viewers at the time on her own.
Oprah finally became a billionaire in 2000 and she is the first self-made female billionaire in America. As a philanthropist, she has donated almost half a billion dollars to various causes, especially education.
Oprah Gail Winfrey is now 68 years old.
Oprah Winfrey Net worth
Being the richest self-made female billionaire in America means Oprah is loaded when it comes to money. The veteran talk show host and businessperson have an estimated net worth of $3 billion. She now earns around $300,000 million per year.
- Opray Winfrey Investments
Oprah Winfrey owns HARPO Productions, which is one of the biggest media companies in the world.
She has also been a board member of Weight Watchers since 2015. When she initially joined the board, she was given a stake of $43.5 million. That stake is now estimated to be worth around $400 million.
Oprah also signed a deal with the tech giant, Apple to produce some shows for the company.
Oprah has also appeared in some movies such as The Color Purple, Beloved, The Butler, and Selma.
She has also produced a lot of shows and documentaries. She has been nominated for two academy awards for her roles in the movies she starred in as the best-supporting actress. She has also been awarded the Jean Hersholt humanitarian award.
Oprah owns more than $200 million in real estate which equals more than 1,000 acres of land. She once owned a home in Chicago which was sold for $4.6 million. She also once owned a penthouse in Atlanta that was also sold for $1.8 million. Oprah currently resides in a Montecito mansion which she purchased for $50 million in 2001. The value of the home is now thought to be worth around $90 million.
She owns several luxury SUVs she uses as her choice of vehicles. Among them is a white Tesla Model S. she also owns a 1954 vintage Mercedes Benz 300 SL Gullwing.
Oprah Winfrey has never married and she has no living children. She has however been in a long relationship with her partner, Stedman Graham, since 1986.