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Oprah Winfrey is an American talk show host, actress, producer, philanthropist and billionaire who is best known for her multi-award-winning talk show, The Oprah Winfrey Show. Dubbed the “Queen of All Media”, she became the richest African-American of the 20th century.
See the fact file below for more information on the Oprah Winfrey or alternatively, you can download our 21-page Oprah Winfrey worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
PERSONAL AND EARLY LIFE
- Internationally acclaimed American television host, actress, producer, philanthropist and entrepreneur Oprah Gail Winfrey was born on January 29, 1954, in Kosciusko, Mississippi.
- She grew up in a poor neighborhood and experienced sexual abused at the hands of male relatives and friends of her mother, Vernita, who was an unmarried teenage mother.
- As a child, Oprah lived with her grandmother, Hattie Mae. They were extremely poor.
- Oprah’s mother then sent her to live with her father, Vernon, in Nashville, Tennessee. He was barber and businessman.
- Winfrey’s early life was extremely difficult. After suffering years of abuse, she fell pregnant at the age of 14, but the baby was born prematurely and died shortly after birth.
- Oprah was a good student and excelled in a school program that saw her transferred to a good school. Her father was strict but encouraging and emphasized education.
- She received a full scholarship to Tennessee State University after winning an oratory contest. She studied communication.
- In 1976, Oprah Winfrey moved to Baltimore, Maryland, where she hosted the TV chat show People Are Talking. The show became a hit and Winfrey stayed with it for eight years, after which she was recruited by a Chicago TV station to host her own morning show, A.M. Chicago. Her success led to nationwide fame and a role in Steven Spielberg’s 1985 film The Color Purple as Sophia (pictured right), for which she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.
TV AND FILM CAREER
- Winfrey launched the Oprah Winfrey Show in 1986 as a nationally syndicated program. She soon gained ownership of the program from ABC, drawing it under the control of her new production company, Harpo Productions (‘Oprah’ spelled backward) and making more and more money from syndication.
- Her projects with Harpo included the 1989 TV miniseries, The Women of Brewster Place, which she also starred in. Winfrey also signed a multi-picture contract with Disney.
- In 1989, Oprah debuted another media company, Oxygen Media, focused on creating content for women.
- After 25 years on the air, The Oprah Winfrey Show aired its final show in 2011. In partnership with Discovery Communications, Oprah launched a new channel called OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network in 2011.
- In 2017, CBS announced that Oprah would become a special contributor on 60 Minutes.
- Apple also announced in 2018 that Oprah would be working with them to create new original programs exclusively for the brand’s streaming service.
- In 2000, Oprah launched her highly successful monthly magazine, O: The Oprah Magazine.
- In 2002, Fortune called the magazine the most successful start-up ever in the industry. Although its circulation declined by 10% between 2005-08, while the January 2009 issue was the best-selling issue since 2006. It is aimed at higher-earning women.
- She has also co-authored five books (as of 2019), including her memoir, The Life You Want (2017).
- Having amassed a great fortune (her net worth in 2019 is 2,9 billion USD), Oprah believes strongly in giving back. By 2012 she had donated approx. $400 million to educational causes, including scholarships.
- In 1998, Oprah created a charity called Oprah’s Angel Network, which supports non-profit organizations around the world. Up to 2010, it raised more than 80 million USD. It was shut down with the end of the Oprah Winfrey Show.
- To help in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, Oprah started the Oprah Angel Network Katrina registry. It raised more than $11 million and Oprah donated $10 million to rebuild homes affected by the disaster.
- With education as a cause close to Oprah’s heart, in 2007 she launched the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in Johannesburg, South Africa. The school provides well-resourced classrooms, computer and science laboratories, a library, theatre and beauty salon.
- Because of the format of Oprah’s talk show, where guests would tell their stories on national TV, The Wall Street Journal coined the term “Oprahfication”, meaning public confession as a form of therapy.
- Because of the popularity of Oprah and the power of her opinions and endorsements, a phenomenon called the “Oprah Effect” exists.
- Her influence has also seen other talk shows that she’s launched, including Dr. Phil, Dr. Oz, and Rachel Ray achieve success.
- In politics, Oprah endorsed then-presidential candidate Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential election.
- In November 2013, Winfrey received the nation’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom. President Barack Obama gave her this award for her contributions to her country.
Oprah Winfrey Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about Oprah Winfrey across 21 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Oprah Winfrey worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about Oprah Winfrey who is an American talk show host, actress, producer, philanthropist and billionaire who is best known for her multi-award-winning talk show, The Oprah Winfrey Show. Dubbed the “Queen of All Media”, she became the richest African-American of the 20th century.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Oprah Winfrey Facts
- The Queen of Talk
- The Talented Ms. Winfrey
- At the Oscars
- Do You Know Oprah?
- Winfrey Word Search
- Career Stepping Stones
- Letter to Oprah
- Wisdom of Oprah
- Leaders and Mentors
- Colorful Reflection
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Link will appear as Oprah Winfrey Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, February 26, 2019
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.