Oprah Winfrey is one of the most successful people on TV today. Many people want to know how much all the stars are worth today and many people ask “how much is Oprah worth?” Before we look at that, let’s get to know where she has come from and what she has overcame to be who she is today.
Oprah Winfrey was born in Kosciusko, Mississippi and was raised by her grandmother on a farm. When she was six she moved in with her mother in Milwaukee. After suffering abuse, a 13 year old Oprah ran away and was sent to a juvenile detention home. To make matters worse she was denied admission because all of the beds were filled.
As the last resort, she was sent to live with her father. Vernon Winfrey ensured that his daughter met a midnight curfew, and he made her write a book report each week. Oprah said “As strict as he was, he had some concerns about me making the best of my life, and would not accept anything less than what he thought was my best.”
At the age of 17 Oprah Winfrey’s broadcasting career began when she was hired by a radio station in Nashville, and only two years later signed on with WTVF-TV in Nashville as a news reporter/anchor. She had many other news reporting rolls thought-out the late seventies and early 80’s and in January 1984, she came to Chicago to host “AM Chicago,” a talk show that was in decline. In less than a year, she turned that show into one of the most popular shows on TV. The show evolved and soon turned into the birth of “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” Seen nationally since September 8, 1986, the show became the number one talk show in nationwide. The rest is history.
Oprah has dabbled in acting and before she became a talk show host she was nominated for an Oscar for her portrayal of Sofia in Steven Spielberg’s 1985 adaptation of The Color Purple. Her love of acting encouraged her to form her own production company, HARPO Productions, Inc., in 1986 which is still going strong today.
Time magazine named Oprah Winfrey one of the 100 Most Influential People of the 20th Century, and she received a Lifetime Achievement Award in 1998 from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. By the early 1990’s Oprah Winfrey was considered the richest woman in entertainment and at the age of 41 she had a net worth of $340 million. Although black people make up fewer than 13% of the population in the US, Winfrey has remained the only African American who has ranked among America’s 400 richest people almost every year since 1995.
Winfrey is currently believed to be the richest African American of the 20th century. Forbes’ international rich list has listed Oprah Winfrey as the world’s only black billionaire in 2004, 2005, and 2006. According to Reports as of December 2009, Oprah Winfrey is worth over $2.3 billion.