How much is Oprah Winfrey worth?
|Net Worth:||$2.8 Billion|
|Profession:||Professional TV Host|
|Date of Birth:||January 29, 1954|
|Country:||United States of America|
She hosted a little talk show called The Oprah Winfrey Show out of Chicago for 25 years before branching out and starting her own network.
Who Is Oprah Winfrey
You’d be hard-pressed to find a personal history that embodies the idea of a Cinderella story more than Oprah Winfrey’s. From a poverty-stricken childhood marred by sexual abuse and a teenage pregnancy, Oprah went on to become one of the most successful, powerful and influential women in America. Her role as a cultural icon, philanthropist, media maven and outspoken political advocate mean she has dipped her toe into every aspect of modern society and left a mark that few others have.
American TV host Oprah Winfrey has a net worth of $2.8 billion dollars, as of 2020.
From Troubled Youngster To Mogul In The Making
From the beginning, her life was the polar opposite of “The Promised Land,” the 42-acre estate she now calls home. She was born into poverty, the result of a one-night stand, to a single teenage mother, Vernita Lee. She initially lived on a farm with her grandmother, Hattie Mae Lee, but she relocated to Milwaukee, Wisconsin when she was six with her mother. Vernita was distracted, and left Oprah to her own devices, which resulted in her acting out. She cut school, ran away, stole money and had flings with boys until, frustrated, her mother sent her away to Nashville to live with her father, Vernon Winfrey, when she was 13.
Under her father’s strict supervision, Oprah turned her life around and started a career in local news media while still in high school. In 1983, she caught her big break and moved to Chicago to take over as host of AM Chicago. Within months of her first episode on January 2, 1984, it shot to the number one talk show in Chicago. Two years later, on the advice of her then-boyfriend, movie critic Roger Ebert, Oprah inked a deal with King World that took her program into syndication, and it became The Oprah Winfrey Show. Her rise to the top meant that she had dethroned Chicago’s reigning television personality, Phil Donahue, and a rivalry was born.
A Secret Past
She became famous for getting her guests to open up thanks to her empathetic nature, and in the first season of her syndicated show, she revealed her own secret—that she had been raped and molested since the age of nine by her cousin, an uncle and a family friend. She was forced her to run away when she was 13, became pregnant when she was 14, and lost her premature baby boy weeks after he was born. The revelation was considered one of the most shocking moments in television.
Sharing The Wealth And Branching Out
Over the course of her show’s run, she launched the careers of several television personalities and writers including Dr. Phil McGraw, Dr. Mehmet Oz and the notorious author James Frey. She conducted some of the most memorable interviews, most notably one with Michael Jackson in 1993, Liberace’s final public appearance before succumbing to AIDS in 1986 and the infamous “couch-jumping” incident with Tom Cruise in 2005.
Over the course of her TV success, Oprah branched out to every media outlet under the sun, including film, publishing, producing and radio. She acted in Steven Spielberg’s The Color Purple (1985) and Beloved (1998), she founded Harpo Productions in 1986, she co-authored five books, started two magazines—O, The Oprah Magazine and O at Home—she has her own XM Satellite Radio channel—Oprah Radio—and she launched a TV channel with Discovery Communications, OWN, in January 2011.
Her personal relationships, struggles and political views have also been a topic of discussion. Although she’s been with her fiancé Stedman Graham since 1986, the pair never married and many speculate that she’s really in a gay relationship with her best friend and O, The Oprah Magazine Editor-at-Large, Gayle King. Her fluctuating weight was also a major source of media scrutiny. Throughout the late 80s, she suffered from obesity, and her weight peaked at 237 pounds in 1992, garnering significant ridicule from the press and the public. In January 2005, she appeared on the cover of her magazine lean and toned at 160 pounds, but by December 2008, she was back at 200. She revealed that she suffered from a thyroid condition that slowed her metabolism, made her lethargic and made it difficult for her to lose weight.
But big or small, Oprah’s popularity and influence isn’t going anywhere. She has been credited for positively influencing Barack Obama’s election as the first African-American president, and was even considered for his vacant Senate seat. She was named the Most Powerful Celebrity by Forbes three times and every book selected to her Oprah’s Book Club becomes an immediate bestseller. She’s so powerful that a show about mad cow disease sparked lawsuits from cattlemen for sending the price of meat plummeting.
Whether she’s making Tom Cruise lose his mind, choosing our president for us, or telling us not to eat meat, when the Oprah speaks, we all listen…and we do it gladly. But her daytime reign has an expiration date — and it’s soon. Oprah will surely be shedding a few tears on her last show which is set to air May 25th.
Defining Quote “I always knew I was destined for greatness.”