- 08:56 AM, Feb 16
Oprah Winfrey is not just another famous African-American entrepreneur. She is one great example of a person who has succeeded to rise from poverty and overcome terrible experiences in her past because of her determination and hard efforts. Her decisions to constitute her own destiny and her self-confidence make her the perfect role model for any women in the world. All these qualities that she possesses have led her to become one of the most influential people in the world as Vanity Fair Magazine has praised her: "Oprah Winfrey arguably has more influence on the culture than any university president, politician, or religious leader, except perhaps the Pope." Despite her enormous wealth and popularity, she remains as a humble and warm-hearted person who continues to be an inspiration for every person. No wonder many awards have been rewarded to her as the token of admiration and honor, including a Daytime Emmy Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in 1998. Nevertheless, her journey to achieve all of these has not been easy as there were many obstacles during the process.
Oprah was born on January 29, 1954, in Kosciusko, Mississippi, USA from an unmarried young couple. Originally named as Orpah, the family and people around her often addressed her as Oprah, so she went on to use this particular name. She was nurtured by her paternal grandmother after her parents decided to have a separation. Living at her grandmother's farm in rural Mississippi, she learned to read and practiced recitations at the age of 3. Her serene life became miserable after she moved to her mother's home in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1960. Because of her mother's lack of affection and attention, she turned into a wild girl who was involved in drugs while also suffered sexual harassment. In 1968, she lost her premature baby who died shortly after being born. Her mother then sent her to Nashville, Tennessee to be put under strict rules and high standards of her father. Despite being an austere man, her father actually taught her to be a discipline and purposeful person. "As strict as he was," she recalled, "he had some concerns about me making the best of my life, and would not accept anything less than what he thought was my best."
With her father's help, Oprah gradually fixed her chaotic life. At East Nashville High School, she