Oprah Winfrey – from a miserable childhood to a TV queen

AmericaAs a famous TV queen with a fortune of up to $ 3.5 billion, Oprah Winfrey’s life is not always rosy.

Growing up in rural Mississippi, Oprah Winfrey used to have to wear clothes made from potato sacks because her family was poor. She lived on her grandmother’s farm and was often beaten, while her unmarried teenage mother went to find work. “I grew up in an environment where children existed but weren’t heard,” Winfrey said.

The queen of American television said that she was once beaten by her grandmother just for playing in the water. “I drew water from the well and put it in a bucket, then put my hand in it and played with it. My grandmother saw and beat me so much that the lines on my back were bleeding. I was wearing a skirt and the blood on my back was seeping out. skirt. My grandmother was very upset about it and I was beaten again,” she said.

Oprah Winfrey speaks at the event in New York, USA in April 2019.  Photo: Reuters.

Oprah Winfrey speaks at the event in New York, USA in April 2019. Photo: Reuters.

But Winfrey’s life after that was not yet over. In a speech at Ball University, Indiana in 2012, she shared that she had been raped when she was 9 years old.

“The rapist took me to an ice cream shop and bought me ice cream, while the blood was still running down my leg,” Winfrey recalls. This happened after she moved in with her mother at a motel in Milwaukee at the age of 6.

Winfrey was abused from the age of 10 to 14, until she found out she was pregnant. She was then taken by her mother to a prison. Winfrey escaped and moved to Nashville, Tennessee, to live with her father.

Two weeks after giving birth, Winfrey’s baby died. This painful experience changed her life forever. Grandma and dad see this as an opportunity to rebuild their lives. “I really feel as if the baby has given me a chance at a new life,” she said.

Winfrey’s father directed and framed her life. He asked her to read the book and write a report on the book read each week. “He was afraid that I wouldn’t get the best out of my life and wouldn’t accept anything if it didn’t think it was best for me,” Winfrey said.

All of their efforts have paid off. Winfrey won a full scholarship to Tennessee State University. However, at the age of 19, she dropped out of her studies to pursue a career in media, joining a local television station as a reporter and presenter. This was the decision that made a turning point in this woman’s life.

Winfrey moved to Baltimore in 1976 to join WJZ-TV as an MC. There, she became the co-host of the first talk show called People Are Talking. She also found her passion and went on to turn an underwhelming morning show in Chicago into the biggest show in the city in 1985, later changing its name to Oprah Winfrey’s Show.

She later founded Harpo Productions and took full ownership of the production company. It was a huge success, bringing in $300 million a year at its peak. Since then, she has branched out into films, television series and plays.

She published her own magazine and founded a radio station. Winfrey was even nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in the 1985 TV series The Color Purple.

In addition to television queen, Winfrey is also known for titles such as the richest African-American of the 20th century, North America’s first black billionaire, as well as being rated as the greatest black philanthropist. in American history. In 2007, she was once rated as the most influential woman in the world, according to Wikipedia.

Despite the hardships and sufferings during childhood, Winfrey showed the will to live and the relentless effort to become a successful person.

“Everybody has their own story. Your story is just as valuable and important as mine,” she said. “My story just helps define and shape me the way everyone else’s story does.”

Thanh Tam (Follow NZHerald)


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