Arguably the most influential woman in her generation, Oprah Winfrey is a television host like no other. Raped at nine and left with a dead premature baby at the age of fourteen, the media mogul didn’t let any of these deter her from achieving great heights. No matter how many times life knocked her down, she picked herself back up and continued to ascend the ladder of success until she reached the top.
By the time she was nineteen, Oprah was already a co-anchor in the evening news at a local radio station and was crowned Miss Black Tennessee back in college. For the record, she holds the title for the world’s first female black billionaire and the richest self-made American woman that ever walked the earth.
This great woman of our time is among other things, an American media proprietor, talk show host, actress, producer, and philanthropist. Most people would easily remember her for her popular talk show The Oprah Winfrey Show, the highest-rated television program of its kind.
Oprah Winfrey: Brief Biography & Age
Born on January 29, 1954, in Kosciusko, Mississippi, her mother, Vernita Lee, an unmarried teenager who worked as a housemaid named her Orpah Gail Winfrey at birth but due to constant mispronunciation by people, the name Oprah became her official name. Though she currently lives in affluence, Oprah Winfrey was born into poverty in the rural area of Mississippi and later lived in an inner-city Milwaukee neighborhood before moving to Nashville Tennessee to stay with her father Vernon Winfrey. She suffered sexual molestation from people she called family while she was still a child and became pregnant at 14 but the baby didn’t live.
She attended Lincoln High School, Milwaukee after which she was transferred to Nicolet High School. She later finished as the most popular girl in school at East Nashville High School where she was a member of the school speech team, rated second in the nation in dramatic interpretation. After winning an oratory contest, she secured a full scholarship to Tennessee State University to study Communication.
While in high school, Oprah got a job at a local black radio station, WVOL, where she made a mark. After turning several low-rated TV shows to the best there is, on September 8, 1986, in Chicago, Illinois, Oprah Winfrey produced and hosted the Oprah Winfrey Show which lasted until May 25, 2011, and still holds the record as the highest-rated daytime talk show in the history of American television. She also launched her own channel known as Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) on January 1, 2011.
In addition to being a renowned talk show host, Winfrey starred in movies and series such as The Women of Brewster Place, The Color Purple, Beloved, Charlotte’s Web, The Princess, and the Frog, and Bee Movie. She has also written many books and articles for tabloids in the past. Oprah is also a proud holder of the Presidential Medal of Freedom given to her by President Barack Obama in 2013 and has some honorary doctorate degrees from Duke and Harvard to her credit.
What Is Oprah Winfrey Net Worth?
The “Queen of All Media” as she has been called had a rough beginning which she turned into a great fortune by tapping into her talent. At the age of 32, she was already a millionaire and at 41, the talk show recorded a net worth of $340 million, ousting Bill Cosby as the only African American on the Forbes 400.
In 2006, Oprah Winfrey was earning an annual salary of $260 million, making her the highest-paid television entertainer in the United States. This was five times the sum earned by Simon Cowell who came in second place. Oprah’s income increased to $275 million by 2008. In 2014, Winfrey had a net worth of 2.9 billion dollars.
She has been rated as the richest African American of the 20th century, North America’s first multi-billionaire black person, and arguably the most powerful and influential woman in the whole world. Additionally, she is also the greatest black philanthropist in American history if not the world.
Oprah Winfrey’s current net worth as of 2018 is an eye-popping 3 billion USD.
Oprah’s Height and Weight Loss Journey
One aspect of Oprah’s successful life that has refused to remain constant is her quest to lose weight. For close to four decades, we have watched as the media superstar struggled with her weight which she opened up about during her days as the host of The Oprah Winfrey Show in the 1980s. In the late ’80s, she achieved the desired result in her weight loss journey by going on a liquid diet called Optifast. She bid farewell to 67 pounds in a few months but gained more of that back after going back to normal food and by 1992, Oprah was weighing a shocking 237 pounds.
In 2005, she got her banging body back to 160 pounds but slipped back to gain all the weight back and by 2009, she was struggling again. She later lost over 40 pounds by sticking to the Weight Watchers diet plan which she said is easier than any other she has been on. However, her mission to lose 20 pounds in 2015 was thwarted by an ankle injury and instead of shedding the weight, she embraced an extra 17 pounds.
Notwithstanding her seemingly unending struggle with her recalcitrant weight, Oprah Winfrey appears to be in a better place since her collaboration with Weight Watchers.