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Wednesday, May 29, 2019

How Oprah Winfrey Became the "Queen of All Media"

One of the most influential celebrities in the world, Oprah Winfrey has done it all - and has made history while she’s at it. Below, we touch on some of her highest achievements in media.

How It All Began

From a young age, Winfrey’s grandmother encouraged her to speak in public, so it didn’t come as a shock to anybody when Winfrey started her career in as an anchor for Nashville’s WLAC-TV at just 19 years old. A few years later, she became a cohost for the Baltimore morning show People Are Talking because she preferred a casual, more personal format. In 1984, she relocated to Chicago to host AM Chicago, which was quickly renamed The Oprah Winfrey Show and became the highest-rated daytime television program in U.S. history.

On air, Winfrey was simply likable - she was empathetic, honest, and (when appropriate) humorous. Her compelling celebrity interviews attracted and fascinated millions of viewers, and her persona completely dominated - and continues to dominate the television landscape. In fact, just a couple of years ago, she took on a special contributor role for 60 Minutes to continue her famed interviewing craft.

Film Endeavors Over the Years

In addition to her role as a television personality, Winfrey has also secured acting roles in a variety of films over the years. Some of her most notable films include Beloved, The Color Purple, Selma, and Their Eyes Were Watching God. She has also lent her voice to a wide range of animated movies, including Charlotte’s Web, Bee Movie, and The Princess and the Frog. Today, she still accepts both acting and producing roles for highly-anticipated cinematic masterpieces.

Effects on the Publishing Industry

Winfrey has always been an avid reader. In 1996, she started a book club for The Oprah Winfrey Show, featuring works from a multitude of authors. Unsurprisingly, many of the books selected for Oprah’s Book Club quickly became bestsellers. Additionally, Winfrey has co-authored five books, and just this year, she wrote The Path Made Clear: Discovering Your Life’s Direction and Purpose, a guidebook for finding your true self. She has also published two magazines - O at Home, which was active between 2004 and 2008, and O, The Oprah Magazine. The latter rapidly rose in popularity after its first issue was published in 2000; its launch was one of the most successful magazine launches of the early millennium.

Other Media Contributions

To complement her acting, literary, and television work, Winfrey invested in Oxygen, the women-focused cable channel that aired her Oprah After the Show program, in 1998. About a decade later, she created the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), which is owned by her production company, Harpo Productions.

On top of all her work in media, Winfrey is a philanthropist and an overall exceptional role model to today’s women in business. For even more Oprah, enjoy some of our favorite quotes from the sensational lady herself.

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