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Winfrey, Oprah (1954–)

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WINFREY, OPRAH (1954–). Businesswoman, talk show host, actress. Winfrey graduated from Tennessee State University in 1976 and began her career as a reporter for a local radio station in Nashville, Tennessee. She worked for Nashville’s CBS affiliate while in college and became the city’s first African American TV anchor woman in 1971. Winfrey took a position at WJZ TV in Baltimore, Maryland, and became cohost of Baltimore Is Talking , its popular morning show. A.M. Chicago lured her away in 1984, and it quickly surpassed The Phil Donahue Show in ratings. Her show became so popular it was renamed The Oprah Winfrey Show . Her multi Emmy Award winning show is now widely syndicated. It has become one of the most successful and popular shows in television history. Her Oprah’s Book Club segment has made million- Page 363  aires out of most of the authors on her list. And her production company, Harpo Productions, produces films and TV miniseries based on books, including Gloria Naylor’s The Women of Brewster’s Place , 1989; Toni Morrison’s Beloved , 1998; and Dorothy West’s The Wedding , 2000. She has her own magazine called O. Winfrey earned an Academy Award nomination for her very first role in the film The Color Purple , 1985. Due to her success and her business savvy, she has become a media powerhouse and the first African American female billionaire.

Filmography: The Color Purple , 1985; Native Son , 1986; The Women of Brewster Place , 1989; There Are No Children Here , 1992; Beloved , 1998.

Winner Take All [next] [back] Winfrey, Oprah - Overview, Personal Life, Career Details, Chronology: Oprah Winfrey, Social and Economic Impact

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