(Oprah Gail Winfrey; Kosciusko, Mississippi, 1954) American businesswoman and television presenter who maintained unusual audience levels for twenty-five years with her talk show The Oprah Winfrey Show (1986-2011). After this stage, she founded her own television network, the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), in which she has continued to develop her work and enjoying extremely high levels of popularity. Since the 90s, publications such as Forbes , Life or Time have been considering her as one of the most powerful and influential personalities in the world.
Oprah Winfrey is a true myth for many Americans. This woman, whose life as a child was not easy at all, was able to overcome a traumatic childhood and eventually become a brilliant communicator. Born on January 29, 1954 in the American town of Kosciusko, in the state of Mississippi, her grandmother took care of her until she was six years old. She then went on to live with her mother and she was forced into a hellish environment: she suffered physical and mental abuse and mistreatment that turned her day to day life into an ordeal. Her unbearable situation determined that at the age of thirteen she decided to run away from it; She thought that when she was arrested, they would take her to her father’s house in Nashville, which actually happened.
At nineteen she began to flirt with the world of communication working as a reporter at a Nashville radio station; she had entered in 1971 at the University of Tennessee, where she even won several beauty contests. At twenty-two, Oprah Winfrey moved to Baltimore, where she had an offer to host a television show, People Are Talking . Her first adventure on the small screen lasted eight years, largely thanks to her singular photogenicity and naturalness in front of the camera.
Her professional career took another important leap in 1984, when Chicago’s WSL-TV hired her to host a morning show, AM Chicago ; In a few months, Oprah Winfrey managed to get a program that was the last in the audience ranking to reach the first position. The key to this meteoric rise was undoubtedly her host, who used the occasion to launch her own show, The Oprah Winfrey Show , nationally . Premiered in September 1985, it was broadcast on one hundred and twenty channels and immediately reached ten million viewers.
From then on, success would become Oprah Winfrey’s eternal companion. In 1986 The Oprah Winfrey Show was already the number 1 talk show on US television, and for twenty-five years it would continue to hold a privileged media position: almost thirty million viewers followed its broadcasts in the United States alone. The awards, including various Emmys for best talk show, would support her career.
When in the mid-90s the American talk show experienced a clear drift towards trash TV, Oprah Winfrey chose to uphold her own criteria and move her show away from all tabloid temptation, excluding fistfights and lurid affairs from her set. If she initially lost some audience points, she was soon rewarded with an increase in popularity and the definitive consolidation of her prestige, to the point that the most famous personalities never declined to go through her program.
Some of the ingredients of his winning formula were his extraordinary empathy, the intimate and confessional tone of his interviews and his interest in cultural or human issues such as reading, self-improvement, altruism or spirituality. Finally, after twenty-five years on the air, Oprah ended her stage at the helm of The Oprah Winfrey Show and founded her own television network in 2011, the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), which would soon experience stellar moments: in January 2013 His interview with Lance Armstrong, the American cyclist stripped of his seven tours of France for doping, went around the world.
But Oprah Winfrey is not just a famous television presenter; the immense popularity that this medium gave him helped him to carry out many other activities. She early founded her own production company, Harpo Productions, through which she managed to retain ownership of The Oprah Winfrey Show and obtain huge profits from its exploitation, which made her the first African-American billionaire since the late 1990s. . «The queen of all media», as the press calls her, did not rest on her laurels then, but rather made an early commitment to new technologies: in 1999 she created Oxygen Media, a corporation dedicated to the production of content for private television and Internet .
Oprah also contributed to the spread of reading with the Oprah’s Book Club section , included in her program; She has written books and practiced literary criticism, directs her own website and is the editor of The Oprah Magazine , a magazine that since 2004 followed the line of her television program. She has also made inroads into the world of cinema: she participated in such well-known films as Steven Spielberg ‘s The Color Purple (1985), for which she was nominated for an Oscar for best supporting actress; Other outstanding titles in her filmography are Beloved (1998), El mayordomo (2013) and Selma (2014).
In addition to being an excellent professional, Oprah Winfrey is a woman concerned about social problems. Her childhood made her especially sensitive, and she has not hesitated to get involved in different actions, both charitable and social awareness. In 1991 she campaigned for the creation of a nationwide database of pedophiles. This project became the law known as the Oprah-Bill, made a reality in 1993 under the presidency of Bill Clinton . Oprah also promotes a foundation that bears her name and is dedicated to supporting the women and children of the world; Among other actions, she allocates millions of dollars each year to help many young people without resources to study.
-Where there is no struggle there is no strength.
-It doesn’t matter who you are, where you come from. The ability to triumph begins with you – always.
-Forgiveness is letting go of the hope that the past can be changed.
-I would like to thank the people who’ve brought me those dark moments, when I felt most wounded, betrayed. You have been my greatest teachers.
-The great courageous act that we must all do, is to have the courage to step out of our history and past so that we can live our dreams.
-You look at yourself and you accept yourself for who you are, and once you accept yourself for who you are you become a better person.
-If you want your life to be more rewarding, you have to change the way you think.
-In the mist of Difficulty lies Opportunity.
-Doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment.
-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. This is your moment. Own it.
-Wherever you are in your journey, I hope you, too, will keep encountering challenges. It is a blessing to be able to survive them, to be able to keep putting one foot in front of the other—to be in a position to make the climb up life’s mountain, knowing that the summit still lies ahead. And every experience is a valuable teacher.
-Every time you suppress some part of yourself or allow others to play you small, you are ignoring the owner’s manual your Creator gave you. What I know for sure is this: You are built not to shrink down to less but to blossom into more. To be more splendid. To be more extraordinary. To use every moment to fill yourself up.
-One of the hardest things in life to learn are which bridges to cross and which bridges to burn.
-It makes no difference how many peaks you reach if there was no pleasure in the climb.
-When people show you who they are … believe them!
-You get to know who you really are in a crisis.
-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.
-True forgiveness is when you can say, ‘Thank you for that experience.’
-I believe that every single event in life happens in an opportunity to choose love over fear.
-I don’t believe in failure. It’s not failure if you enjoy the process.
-Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody’s going to know whether you did it or not.
-You are responsible for your life. You can’t keep blaming somebody else for your dysfunction. Life is really about moving on.
-You’ve got to follow your passion. You’ve got to figure out what it is you love – who you really are. And have the courage to do that. I believe that the only courage anybody ever needs is the courage to follow your own dreams.
-The key to realizing a dream is to focus not on success but significance, and then even the small steps and little victories along your path will take on greater meaning.
-I have crossed over on the backs of Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, Fannie Lou Hamer, and Madam C. J. Walker. Because of them I can now live the dream. I am the seed of the free, and I know it. I intend to bear great fruit.
-All of us need a vision for our lives, and even as we work to achieve that vision, we must surrender to the power that is greater than we know. It’s one of the defining principles of my life that I love to share: God can dream a bigger dream for you than you could ever dream for yourself.
-The way to choose happiness is to follow what is right and real and the truth for you. You can never be happy living someone else’s dream. Live your own. And you will for sure know the meaning of happiness.
-Bravery shows up in everyday life when people have the courage to live their truth, their vision and their dreams.
-Whatever our dreams, ideas, or projects, we plant a seed, nurture it — and then reap the fruits of our labors.
-I urge you to pursue preserving your personal history to allow your children and grandchildren to know who you were as a child and what your hopes and dreams were.
-Your calling isn’t something that somebody can tell you about. It’s 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.
-The best thing about dreams is that fleeting moment, when you are between asleep and awake, when you don’t know the difference between reality and fantasy, when for just that one moment you feel with your entire soul that the dream is reality, and it really happened.
-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.
-Don’t worry about being successful, but work toward being significant and the success will naturally follow.
-The biggest adventure you can ever take is to live the life of your dreams.
-Listen to the rhythm of your own calling, and follow that.
-Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.
-Your true passion should feel like breathing; it’s that natural.
-As you become more clear about who you really are, you’ll be better able to decide what is best for you – the first time around.
-When I look at the future, it’s so bright it burns my eyes!
-You have to find what sparks a light in you so that you in your own way can illuminate the world.
-Challenges are gifts that force us to search for a new center of gravity. Don’t fight them. Just find a new way to stand.
-Self-esteem comes from being able to define the world in your own terms and refusing to abide by the judgments of others.
-Leadership is about empathy. It is about having the ability to relate to and connect with people for the purpose of inspiring and empowering their lives.
-The big secret in life is there is no secret. Whatever your goal. You can get there if you’re willing to work.
-I am grateful for the blessings of wealth, but it hasn’t changed who I am. My feet are still on the ground. I’m just wearing better shoes.
-Luck is a matter of preparation meeting opportunity.
-With every experience, you alone are painting your own canvas, thought by thought, choice by choice.
-Think like a queen. A queen if not afraid to fail. Failure is another stepping stone to greatness.
-The more thankful I became, the more my bounty increased. That’s because – for sure – what you focus on expands. When you focus on the goodness in life, you create more of it.
-What I know is, is that if you do work that you love, and the work fulfills you, the rest will come.
-I was once afraid of people saying, ‘Who does she think she is?’ Now I have the courage to stand and say, ‘This is who I am.’
-Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.
-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.
-Every day brings a chance for you to draw in a breath, kick off your shoes, and dance.
-Everyone wants to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.
-Some women have a weakness for shoes… I can go barefoot if necessary. I have a weakness for books.
-Follow your instincts. That’s where true wisdom manifests itself.
-Meditate. Breathe consciously. Listen. Pay attention. Treasure every moment. Make the connection.
-The whole point of being alive is to evolve into the complete person you were intended to be.
-Only make decisions that support your self-image, self-esteem, and self-worth.
-Forgiveness is giving up the hope that the past could have been any different.
-You are where you are in life because of what you believe is possible for yourself.
-If a man wants you, nothing can keep him away. If he doesn’t want you, nothing can make him stay.
-Education is the key to unlocking the world, a passport to freedom.
-Books were my pass to personal freedom. I learned to read at age three, and there discovered was a whole world to conquer that went beyond our farm in Mississippi.
-Dogs are my favorite role models. I want to work like a dog, doing what I was born to do with joy and purpose. I want to play like a dog, with total, jolly abandon. I want to love like a dog, with unabashed devotion and complete lack of concern about what people do for a living, how much money they have, or how much they weigh. The fact that we still live with dogs, even when we don’t have to herd or hunt our dinner, gives me hope for humans and canines alike.
-I have a lot of things to prove to myself. One is that I can live my life fearlessly.
-When you make loving others the story of your life, there’s never a final chapter, because the legacy continues. You lend your light to one person, and he or she shines it on another and another and another.And I know for sure that in the final analysis of our lives- when the to-do lists are no more, when the frenzy is finished, when our e-mail inboxes are empty- the only thing that will have any lasting value is whether we’ve loved others and whether they’ve loved us.
-My idea of heaven is a great big baked potato and someone to share it with.
-Even people who believe they deserve to be happy and have nice things often don’t feel worthy once they have them.
-Step out of the history that is holding you back. Step into the new story you are willing to create.