- Oprah Winfrey
- Before The Oprah Winfrey Show
- Oprah’s Success
- The Other Side of Oprah
Oprah Winfrey’s Childhood
Oprah Winfrey (born Orpah Gail Winfrey; January 29, 1954) is a television host, producer, actress, and philanthropist, Oprah is best known for her talk show, it has become the highest-rated program of its kind ever. Winfrey’s original name was “Orpah” but her family and friends didn’t know how to pronounce it correctly, and called her “Oprah” instead.
Oprah was born in Kosciusko, Mississippi. Mother, Vernita Lee was a housemaid. Winfrey had been under the impression that her real father was Vernon Winfrey, a coal miner/barber turned city councilman. He was in the Armed Forces when she was born. Later on in life a Mississippi farmer and World War II veteran Noah Robinson Sr. claimed he was her real father.
Oprah’s First Years
Oprah Winfrey spent her first years living in rural poverty with her grandmother, Hattie Mae Lee. It has been said that Oprah was so poor she often wore dresses made of potato sacks. After turning six, Oprah moved to a neighborhood in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with her mother. Around the time Oprah moved in, her mother had given birth to another daughter, Winfrey’s younger half-sister, Patricia. By 1962, her mother was having trouble raising two daughters so Oprah was sent to live in Nashville, Tennessee. While Winfrey was in Nashville, her mother gave birth to her third daughter. Oprah’s mother gave this daughter, up for adoption in the hope of easing the financial situation. Oprah did not learn she had a second half-sister until later on in her life after becoming successful. Oprah’s mother had also given birth to a boy named Jeffrey, a half-brother to Oprah.
Oprah in high school
Oprah began high school at Lincoln High School; after upward bound success she was transferred to Nicolet High School. After getting into some trouble, her mother, again, sent her to live in Nashville, Tennessee with Vernon.
Vernon was strict and made her education a top priority. Winfrey became an honors student, was voted Most Popular Girl, at East Nashville High School, She won an oratory contest, and gained a full scholarship to Tennessee State University, where she studied communication. Oprah Winfrey won the Miss Black Tennessee beauty pageant at age 17. After winning the pageant WVOL hired her to do the news part-time. She worked there into her first two years of college.