Desiree N. CalderonMr.Jalloh
May 15, 2002 Pd.1
Oprah Winery’s life experiences have made her into the woman she is today. She was born on January 9,1954,in Kosciusko, Mississippi. She has stated that she is a woman in progress, just trying like everyone else. Taking every conflict and every experience and learning from it. Oprah Winfrey has risen from poverty and a troubled youth to become the most powerful and influential woman in television and according to Forbes Magazine, then worlds most highly paid entertainer.
The problems Oprah has encountered, as child was very traumatizing. She moved several times between family members, from a baby to a young child of six years old she lived with her grandparents, being that her parents were young and separated when she was born. During this time she feels that her grandmother installed in her a sense of reasoning and strength. She then moved in with her other in Milwaukee, WI that is when times became hard. Male relatives constantly molested Oprah. With this in mind Oprah became promiscuous and began to experiment with drugs. At the age 14 she gave birth to a premature baby that died. That is when Oprah decided to move with her father in Nashville. Her father insisted on hard work and discipline as means of self-improvement, which gave Oprah the ability to find stability and inspiration to excel in school and change her life. She complied; winning a college scholarship that allowed her to attend Tennessee State University.
In 1971 when she was19, she began working part time as a radio announcer for WVOL in Nashville. Two years later, after receiving a BA from Tennessee State, she became a reporter at WTVF-TV in Nashville. In 1976 Oprah was offered a job at the ABC-TV station for WJZ in Baltimore. The newstation posted billboards around the whole city support of the new show. The goal was to make a record-breaking salary such as Barbara Walters with her one million dollars a year. Oprah approached her new job with typical gusto. But WJZs management frowned on Oprahs habit of spontaneous reporting and her refusal to read the news copy ahead of time. The lack of preparation resulted in mistakes. She would mispronounce words and bad grammar. Things did not work out there so the company decided to send Oprah to get a makeover. She was sent to a salon in New York and received a perm that made her hair come out. She was also sent to a speech coach, it was there that she received the best advice of her life. The speech coach told Oprah that she had to have more self-determination and positive attitude and to quit being so nice. Oprahs next job was reading cut-ins on ABCs Good Morning America Show. In addition WJZ-TV assigned her as a reporter covering tragedies. After this Oprah was placed to host their talk show People Are Talking, to her this show was considered a demotion. People Are Talking created a change for Oprah. She realized this is what she wanted to do all along. It allowed her to relax and be herself. In a few years the shows popularity passed that of the Phil Donahue Show.
In 1984, Oprah took a risk at hosting a Chicago morning talk show. She received a $200,000 a year salary and a four-year unbreakable contract. Her show was groundbreaking. What made her show so great was that she was able/unafraid to bare her soul and her past experiences in front of her audience and guest where most talk show host will keep their personal lives private. Oprah spoke about everything her experience with abuse, her obesity and her drug problems. Oprah deled with harsh critics that could not accept that a big woman could be beautiful, intelligent, and vital.
Besides her wonderful title as queen of the daytime talk shows, Oprah has proven herself as an outstanding actress. One of her first and best movies was The Color Purple. This movie created a lot of controversy despite how well it was actually done. It was nominated for a grand total of eleven Academy Awards but not one was won. Her second film was
Native Son, which did not do as well as her first movie. Oprah was taking a lot of time off to pursue her acting career, so she was advised to gain control over her show. That when Oprah bought the show and I was renamed THE Oprah Winfrey Show.
Now that Oprah owned the show new things were beginning to happen.
She became the first woman to own and produce her own talk show. Oprah not only wanted to be known locally but she wanted her show to become national. This took a lot of work but the Oprah Winfrey Show was broadcast on a record-breaking138 stations.
On television Oprah also launched a book club with this book club she endorses novels that are written by lesser-known authors. As proof of her influence, most of the books she has chosen end up best sellers. Oprah has a very positive attitude towards life that many people choose to follow her. During the days she introduces the books to her audience and explains what is about she informs them that in a few time the author will be a guest for the show. She considers books her long-life friends, and encouraging people to read more is simply returning a favor
Oprah didnt stop there her show was doing well so went back to the movie business. In 1989 she the executive producer and starred in DonnaDeitchs acclaimed television movie The Women of Brewster Place, which later became a short-lived series. Oprah is continually active in producing high-quality television movies. In 1997 drama Before Women Had Wings provides an excellent example of the level to which she aspires.
Even with Oprah doing her talk show and being involved in movies Oprah still wanted to do more. In 1990 the year of the child she devoted a least one show a month to the issues of children. In 1991 she initiated the National Child Protection Act, she testified before the U.S. Senate to encourage members to pass the law. By 1993 Oprah watched as Bill Clinton signed the Oprah bill into law. Oprah has taken a stand against guns. She has started a program called Families for a Better life. Oprahs commitment toward making the world a better place is backed up by her generosity as well as everything else. Each year she donates to several charities, including her own Family for Better Lives. Oprah rarely watches television she feels it promotes false values. So as you can she tries do a lot for to solve the worlds problems.
When Oprah decides to show end her talk show, it is thought that she will focus on becoming a leading Hollywood actress. She wants to make a movie for a major studio, in hope of receiving an Academy Award. An Academy Award would validate her success in ways that money alone cannot.
So as you can see Oprah Winfrey deserves the status she has now. She has been through good and hard times and overcame it. She will continue to do well by herself and by her fans. She hat stated When I look at the future, its so bright it burns my eyes.
Oprah Winfrey Speaks by Janet Lowe1998
People in the News Oprah Winfrey by Judith Presnall1999
Yahoo! Movies: Oprah Winfrey-Biography
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