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Essay about Oprah Winfrey: An Influential and Inspirational Woman in Our Society

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Oprah Winfrey is a media giant and philanthropist. Oprah Winfrey has made many contributions and gone through many trials; all of this has shaped her into the amazing woman she is today.

Oprah Gail Winfrey was born of a single teenage mother in Kosciusko, Mississippi on January 29, 1954. Oprah’s mother was Vernita Lee and at the time supported Oprah using welfare. Vernita Lee died November 22, 2018 at the age of 83. Oprah was raised by her very strict grandmother and was beaten regularly. Her family was very poor, and Oprah was lonely. Oprah Winfrey has been through many things in her life and grown up with many obstacles and trials. When Oprah was a child, she experienced many sexually abusive men in her life, who were family members and close family friends, who took advantage and used her body for pleasure. Although this seems awful her grandmother taught her to read before her 3rd birthday. She received positive recognition when she read and spoke out that this passion fueled her mindset into her future career choices. At six years old she moved back and lived with her mother in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Oprah was neglected due to her mother working long shifts as a maid. Her 19-year-old cousin would babysit her, but during this time he raped her. Sadly, he would not be the last to do so. She received sexual abuse from her mother's boyfriend, until she was 13. Oprah ran away from home and shortly after became pregnant at 14. Her baby was born prematurely and died shortly after birth. She then moved to be with her father in Tennessee. Orpah's father was a good influence on her and stressed that an education was very important. She began attending Nashville East High School where she became a public speaker and attended drama classes. She was elected school president. She received a full scholarship to Tennessee State University after winning a public speaking contest. She then started her journey into the media giant the world knows her as today.

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Many things in Orpah's life led her on the path to failure but through many countless trials Oprah came out successful and happy. Orpah's family was so abusive and couldn’t support her so much that she ran away at 13, but became pregnant at 14 and lost her first child. She expanded her horizons and in college became an unstoppable force. She got a job at a Nashville broadcasting center run by white men, although she was set for failure when her show failed Orpah was blamed. She was demoted back to a writer, but she was too slow and caring for the hard life of a reporter. She did not give up she strived for bigger and better things leading to a job as a cohost on ‘People Are Talking’ with Richard Sher. She then received a breakout role hosting a morning talk show and became a household name. She was determined and had her eye on success no matter what was thrown at her.

Oprah Winfrey has excelled in countless ways during her life. Oprah Winfrey created her own magazine entitled ‘O, The Oprah Magazine’. She has produced many films and television shows, and even a Broadway musical. She was nominated for best supporting actress for her role in ‘The Color Purple’. Oprah launched her own television network, OWN. One thing Oprah says: “Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another is another stepping stone to greatness”. This quote shows how she is not afraid of failure and explains how she has come so far with this mindset. Another quote: “The biggest adventure you can ever take is to live the life of your dreams”. This shows how Oprah is strong willed and living her best life. Oprah Winfrey is one of the most influential and successful African American females.

Oprah hasn’t lived a peaceful life, but by overcoming all odds and keeping a strong-willed mindset she has overcome all challenges. In my opinion, she is an influential, successful and inspirational woman in our society.

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Essay about Oprah Winfrey: An Influential and Inspirational Woman in Our Society. (2023, March 01). Edubirdie. Retrieved February 24, 2024, from
“Essay about Oprah Winfrey: An Influential and Inspirational Woman in Our Society.” Edubirdie, 01 Mar. 2023,
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