Born in Mississippi, 1954
At age 6 she was paid to public speak at
her local church
She had a troublesome childhood
consisting of abuse
She eventually moved in with her dad and began
to turn her life around
He encouraged her to do well in school and she
began to get very involved in the school
At age 17 she was hired to read the news after
school at WVOL, a local radio show
When she was entering her college years she was
offered a spot as a host on “People Are Talking”
which was a local morning chat show
After she graduated in 1976 she accepted an
offer from an ABC affiliate in Baltimore.
How It All Started
When she was 29 she moved to Chicago to
liven up the show “A.M. Chicago.”
The show became so successful that they
changed the name to “The Oprah Winfrey
The Oprah Effect
As soon as Oprah began her book club she
sent thousands of books flying off store
shelves each month.
At least 15 million tune into the “Oprah
Winfrey Show” daily, so when Oprah says
she likes something, other people are
bound to see if they can like that product
The Oprah Effect
Publishers pick books on the basis of
whether or not they’re going to be picked
Publishers think so highly of Oprah’s
ability to sell, they print a special Oprah’s
Book Club logo on trade paperbacks and
national bookstores offer discounts of up
to 40% of Oprah Picks.
“Her popularity is an inevitable by-product
of the medium today.” Whether it’s music,
books, movies, or even pajamas, if she
likes them, people will buy them.”
What Has She
In 1985 she had her break as an actress in The
Color Purple. She received a Golden Globe and
In 1986 she formed a production company called
Harpo Inc. She purchased film rights to many
works of literature by black women.
In 1995 she signed a deal with ABC to produce 6
made for television movies.
By the mid 1990’s she was named the highest
paid female in the country because of all the
work she was doing.
Why Does She Have This
Herhonest delivery, her banter and her
bluntness, along with her genuine
reactions to guests, hit home with viewers.
Combine that with the fact that she has
overcome a background of poverty and an
abusive upbringing and the result is a
superstar whose fans worship her.