Oprah Winfrey was born in Mississippi to a poor unwed teenaged mother. She was raped when she was only nine years old, an experience that must have been very traumatic. She ran away from home at age 13 after suffering years of sexual abuse from a cousin, uncle and a family friend. She gave birth to a baby boy who died in infancy when Oprah was only 14 years old. She moved to Tennessee to live with a man she calls her father. When she was still in high school she got a job in radio and began co-anchoring a local evening news show when she was 19 years old.
People enjoyed listening to her emotional ad-lib delivery of the news and she eventually got promoted to the daytime talk show on a third-rated Chicago program. She put so much passion into her work that she brought the show to first place. With that success behind her she started her own production company and was internationally syndicated. I think it is very likely that her passion sprang from her difficulties that she faced earlier in life.
“Few people would have bet on Oprah Winfrey’s swift rise to host of the most popular talk show on TV. In a field dominated by white males, she is a black female of ample bulk. What she lacks in journalistic toughness, she makes up for in plainspoken curiosity, robust humor and, above all empathy. Guests with sad stories to tell are apt to rouse a tear in Oprah’s eye […] They, in turn, often find themselves revealing things they would not imagine telling anyone, much less a national TV audience. It is the talk show as a group therapy session.” “Oprah Winfrey: Lady with a Calling” 8 August 1988. Time Magazine. Accessed 2010-19-17
The talk show made incredible money and she became a millionaire when she was 32. She was so popular that she eventually made a nine figure annual salary by 1994.
She says that one message she has tried very hard to share for 21 years is that “You are responsible for your life.” She told Larry King in an interview that in 1985 she was obsessed with the book “The Color Purple.” She thought about it all the time and says the Law of Attraction helped her. She prayed and prayed to get a part in the movie they were making on the book. She auditioned but didn’t hear anything for months. She said she was fat at the time, at a fat farm to lose weight. She prayed and cried and prayed more. She was walking the track singing the song “I Surrender All” a song about surrendering all to Jesus. She said she had drawn “The Color Purple” into her life by focusing and praying about it so much. It changed her life when she got the part in the movie.
She said the thing that transformed her life was that she learned you can change your own reality based on the way that you think and that YOU are responsible for your life.