Generosity, kindness, and inspiration are just a few words that come to mind when one thinks of Oprah Winfrey. As a role model to all people of any race, gender, or group, she has captured the hearts of millions of viewers. With her strength, beauty, and intelligence, Oprah has overcome many obstacles that have fallen in her way. Not only is she an entertainer, she is a friend to human kind.
Oprah Gail Winfrey was born on January 29, 1954 in Kosciusko, Mississippi. Her parents are Vernita Lee and Vernon Winfrey who were unwed teenagers at the time when Oprah was born. Here parents separated soon after her birth and Oprah was sent to live with her grandmother. Her grandmother was extremely religious and by the age of three, Oprah was reading the bible and reciting it in church. At the age of six Oprah was sent to Milwaukee to live with her mother. However, she was neglected and also sexually molested living a tragic childhood. Oprah ran wild at home and her mother tried putting her in a juvenile hall. When Oprah was only fourteen years of age, she gave birth to a premature baby, who died soon after.
In 1968, Oprah began turning her life around. She went to live with her father and stepmother in Nashville, Tennessee. Her father instituted strict discipline and stressed education. Under he father's iron fist and the new atmosphere, Oprah became and honor student and also quite popular. Two years later, when Oprah was just sixteen years old, WVOL Radio hired her to read news on the air. She was paid $100 per week, which was an excellent salary for a sixteen year old. She later graduated East Nashville High School in 1971 and was voted "Most Popular” in her class. Oprah also won a full-ride scholarship to Tennessee State University based on her speaking ability. The same year, Oprah wont the title of Miss Black Tennessee.
Her first big break was in 1973 when Oprah was hired as the first African American woman ever to anchor the news at Nashville's WTVF-TV.