This Day In History: January 29th
From humble beginnings to award-winning multi-billionaire, Oprah Winfrey entered the world of media and made it her own. Winfrey was born in the rural town of Kosciusko, Mississippi, on January 29, 1954. Here are five things to know about the talented Oprah Winfrey!
- Small Town Girl To Media Mogul. Oprah Winfrey was born in Kosciusko, Mississippi but moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, at age six to live with her mother. In her early teens, she was sent to Nashville to live with her father and attended Tennessee State University. Winfrey began her career as a reporter for a CBS television station and progressed to become the first woman to own and produce her own show.
- Money, Money, Money. Between the beloved “Oprah Winfrey Show,” operating a media empire and other ventures, Winfrey has amassed a net worth of $2.6 billion according to Forbes. She is the first African-American woman billionaire.
- A Star In Front Of And Behind The Camera. Whether you know Oprah Winfrey from her television talk show, The Color Purple, or even a Weight Watchers commercial, she has made her presence known in front of and behind the camera. Winfrey has acted in and produced more than 80 films and TV shows according to IMBD. Her acting credits include films such as Beloved, Lee Daniels’ The Butler and Selma. Her production credits include Netflix’s When They See Us, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Greenleaf, and other shows for the Oprah Winfrey Network.
- An Avid Reader. The Harper Lee classic, To Kill a Mockingbird, captured Winfrey’s attention and became one of her favorites. Her love of books came to life with the launch of “Oprah’s Book Club” in 1996. She selects each book recommended to club members and since its creation, the book club has celebrated more than 85 novels.
- Founded A Girl’s School. In 2007, Winfrey opened the “Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls” (OWLAG) in South Africa. The school seeks to assist disadvantaged girls from grade 8 to grade 12 in South Africa. Winfrey views the $40 million school as her “idea of a gift, not just to South Africa but in particular to Madiba (Nelson Mandela),” according to the founder’s message. She pledged to build the school and just five years later the doors to the academy were opened.
Humanitarian, entrepreneur, actress and television personality are just a few of the roles that Miss Winfrey manages. She continues to reinvent herself and remain a relevant force in the industry. Winfrey used her talents to become one of the richest and most influential women in the United States.