Oprah Winfrey’s Inspirational Rise To Fame And Fortune

Oprah Winfrey’s rise from small-town news anchor to the host of her talk show and later her TV network has made her one of the most influential women in the United States. Although born in Mississippi, Oprah spent the majority of her early years living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

She excelled in all areas during her early years, becoming an honors student in high school and winning a beauty pageant at age 17. Her win in the beauty pageant garnered the attention of WVOL, in Nashville, Tennessee.

The station would bring her on part-time as a news radio host, a job she continued alongside being a communication major at nearby Tennessee State University. Oprah’s success as a radio host would quickly lead her to become the first black female news anchor at Nashville’s WLAC-TV.

She would move even further up the ladder in 1976 accepting another job as a co-anchor in Baltimore, only this time for the 6 pm news timeslot. At this point, it was clear Oprah had the news mastered, and sought to become more of a versatile TV personality.

While continuing as the 6 pm anchor in Baltimore, she also added a job as a talk show host for the local show People Are Talking in 1978. Her newfound success as a talk show host led her to be able to then relocate to Chicago, where she launched her career as we know it to another level.

Oprah’s first gig in Chicago was as the host of AM Chicago, which at the time was low-rated and struggling. Oprah’s presence at the show quickly catapulted it from nearly the bottom of the local ratings to the top. After signing a syndication deal, the show was renamed “The Oprah Winfrey Show” and broadcast to a national audience.

Over the coming decades, “The Oprah Winfrey Show” saw a profound level of success that could not be replicated. Oprah went from covering more strict news-related topics to having a platform to talk about anything from social and political issues to medical advice to hosting celebrities for interviews.

The versatility of the show bolstered by the magnetic personality of Oprah led the show to become wildly popular across America. In 2008, Oprah signed with Discovery Communications and launched her own TV network called OWN. In addition to Oprah’s success as a TV personality, she has an impressive philanthropic resume built over her career.

She has taken a particular interest in the role of education, giving 400 scholarships to Atlanta’s Morehouse College as well as building a “school for girls” in South Africa. What is so incredible about Oprah’s story is that there are few strokes of luck that she received along the way. She simply had success at every level of her career to the point where she elevated herself to America’s first black female billionaire.

Signup to Our Subscription Service.