More from and about
Oprah Winfrey
(biographical info at bottom of page)

  

My philosophy is that not only are you responsible for your life, but
doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment.

   

I've come to believe that each of us has a personal calling that's as unique as a fingerprint - and that the best way to succeed is to discover what you love and then find a way to offer it to others in the form of service, working hard, and also allowing the energy of the universe to lead you.
  
  
If friends disappoint you over and over, that's in large part your own fault. Once someone has shown a tendency to be self-centered, you need to recognize that and take care of yourself; people aren't going to change simply because you want them to.

      
Are you ready to stop colluding with a culture that makes so many of us feel physically inadequate? Say goodbye to your inner critic, and take this pledge to be kinder to yourself and others.  This is a call to arms. A call to be gentle, to be forgiving, to be generous with yourself. The next time you look into the mirror, try to let go of the story line that says you're too fat or too sallow, too ashy or too old, your eyes are too small or your nose too big; just look into the mirror and see your face. When the criticism drops away, what you will see then is just you, without judgment, and that is the first step toward transforming your experience of the world.
  
Do the one thing you think you cannot do. Fail at it. Try again.  Do better the second time. The only people who never tumble are those who never mount the high wire.
  
  
You get in life what you have the courage to ask for.
   

Your calling isnít something that somebody can tell you about.  Itís what you feel.  It is the thing that gives you juice.  The thing that you are supposed to do. And nobody can tell you what that is.  You know it inside yourself.

     

Every one of us gets through the tough times because
somebody is there, standing in the gap to close it for us.

   

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Education is the key to unlocking the world, a passport to freedom.

   

I am a woman in process. I'm just trying like everybody else.
I try to take every conflict, every experience,
and learn from it. Life is never dull.

   

Forgiveness is giving up the hope that the past could have been
any different, it's accepting the past for what it was, and using
this moment and this time to help yourself move forward.

   
    

Born in Kosciusko, Mississippi, Oprah Winfrey was reared by her grandmother on a farm where she "began her broadcasting career" by learning to read aloud and perform recitations at the age of three.  From age six to 13, she lived in Milwaukee with her mother.  After suffering abuse and molestation, she ran away and was sent to a juvenile detention home at the age of 13, only to be denied admission because all the beds were filled.  As a last resort, she was sent to Nashville to live under her father's strict discipline.  Vernon Winfrey saw to it that his daughter met a midnight curfew, and he required her to read a book and write a book report each week.  "As strict as he was," says Oprah, "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."

Oprah Winfrey's broadcasting career began at age 17, when she was hired by WVOL radio in Nashville, and two years later signed on with WTVF-TV in Nashville as a reporter/anchor.  She attended Tennessee State University, where she majored in Speech Communications and Performing Arts.

In 1976, she moved to Baltimore to join WJZ-TV news as a co-anchor, and in 1978 discovered her talent for hosting talk shows when she became co-host of WJZ-TV's "People Are Talking," while continuing to serve as anchor and news reporter.

In January 1984, she came to Chicago to host WLS-TV's "AM Chicago," a faltering local talk show.  In less than a year, she turned "AM Chicago" into the hottest show in town.  The format was soon expanded to one hour, and in September 1985 it was renamed "The Oprah Winfrey Show."

Seen nationally since September 8, 1986, "The Oprah Winfrey Show" became the number one talk show in national syndication in less than a year.  In June 1987, in its first year of eligibility, "The Oprah Winfrey Show" received three Daytime Emmy Awards in the categories of Outstanding Host, Outstanding Talk/Service Program and Outstanding Direction.  In June 1988, "The Oprah Winfrey Show" received its second consecutive Daytime Emmy Award as Outstanding Talk/Service Program, and she herself received the International Radio and Television Society's "Broadcaster of the Year" Award.  She was the youngest person and only the fifth woman ever to receive the honor in IRTS's 25-year history.

Before America fell in love with Oprah Winfrey the talk show host, she captured the nation's attention with her poignant portrayal of Sofia in Steven Spielberg's 1985 adaptation of Alice Walker's novel, The Color Purple.  Winfrey's performance earned her nominations for an Oscar and Golden Globe Award in the category of Best Supporting Actress.  Critics again lauded her performance in Native Son, a movie adaptation of Richard Wright's classic 1940 novel.

In 1991, motivated in part by her own memories of childhood abuse, she initiated a campaign to establish a national database of convicted child abusers, and testified before a U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on behalf of a National Child Protection Act.  President Clinton signed the "Oprah Bill" into law in 1993, establishing the national database she had sought, which is now available to law enforcement agencies and concerned parties across the country.

Oprah Winfrey was named one of the 100 Most Influential People of the 20th Century by Time Magazine, and in 1998 received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.  Her influence extended to the publishing industry when she began an on-air book club.  Oprah Book Club selections became instant bestsellers, and in 1999 she was presented with the National Book Foundation's 50th anniversary gold medal for her service to books and authors.

She is one of the partners in Oxygen Media, Inc., a cable channel and interactive network presenting programming designed primarily for women.  In 2000, Oprah's Angel Network began presenting a $100,000 "Use Your Life Award" to people who are using their lives to improve the lives of others. When Forbes magazine published its list of America's billionaires for the year 2003, it disclosed that Oprah Winfrey was the first African-American woman to become a billionaire.

  

  

About our people pages:
Because many visitors have asked for more information about particular people whose words
appear on the site, we'll try to give you as much information as we can about individuals.
The Amazon links should give you access to works by the author, though at times they'll
display other books if the author has written an essay or introduction for those books.

    

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Other people:  Alan Watts - Albert Einstein - Albert Schweitzer - Andy Rooney - Anne Frank - Anne Morrow Lindbergh
Anne Wilson Schaef
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Don Miguel Ruiz
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Emmet Fox
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Harold Kushner
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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
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James Allen
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John Ruskin
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Leo Buscaglia
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Marianne Williamson
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Mohandas Gandhi
- Morrie Schwartz - Mother Teresa - M. Scott Peck - Nathaniel Branden - Nikos Kazantzakis - Norman Cousins
Norman Vincent Peale
- Og Mandino - Oprah Winfrey - Oriah - Orison Swett Marden - Pau Casals - Peace Pilgrim - Phillips Brooks
Rabindranath Tagore
- Rachel Carson - Rachel Naomi Remen - Rainer Maria Rilke - Ralph Waldo Trine - Richard Bach
Richard Carlson
- Robert Frost - Robert Fulghum - Robert Louis Stevenson - Russell Baker - Sarah Ban Breathnach
Shakti Gawain
- Soren Kierkegaard - Stephen Covey - Stephen C. Paul - Sue Patton Thoele - Susan L. Taylor
Sylvia Boorstein
- Thich Nhat Hanh - Thomas Carlyle - Thomas Kinkade - Thomas Merton - Tom Walsh - Victor Cherbuliez
Wayne Dyer
- Wilferd A. Peterson - Willa Cather - William James - William Wordsworth - Zig Ziglar