Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Oprah Winfrey by Divya D.K and Iman S.

Be on the Show

Oprah Winfrey (born Orpah Gail Winfrey; January 29, 1954) is an American television host, actress, producer, and philanthropist, best known for her self-titled, multi-award winning talk show, which has become the highest-rated program of its kind in history. She has been ranked the richest African American of the 20th century, the greatest black philanthropist in American history, and was once the world's only black billionaire. She is also, according to some assessments, the most influential woman in the world.

Winfrey was born into poverty in rural Mississippi to a teenage single mother and later raised in an inner-city Milwaukee neighborhood. She experienced considerable hardship during her childhood, including being raped at the age of nine and becoming pregnant at 14; her son died in infancy. Sent to live with the man she calls her father, a barber in Tennessee, Winfrey landed a job in radio while still in high school and began co-anchoring the local evening news at the age of 19. Her emotional ad-lib delivery eventually got her transferred to the daytime talk show arena, and after boosting a third-rated local Chicago talk show to first place she launched her own production company and became internationally syndicated.

Winfrey was called "arguably the world's most powerful woman" by CNN and, "arguably the most influential woman in the world" by the American Spectator, "one of the 100 people who most influenced the 20th Century" and "one of the most influential people" from 2004 to 2010 by Time. Winfrey is the only person in the world to have appeared in the latter list on all eight occasions.

At the end of the 20th century Life listed Winfrey as both the most influential woman and the most influential black person of her generation, and in a cover story profile the magazine called her "America's most powerful woman.” In 2007 USA Today ranked Winfrey as the most influential woman and most influential black person of the previous quarter century. Ladies Home Journal also ranked Winfrey number one in their list of the most powerful women in America and United States of America’s president Barack Obama has said she "may be the most influential woman in the country". In 1998 Winfrey became the first woman and first African-American to top Entertainment Weekly's list of the 101 most powerful people in the entertainment industry. Forbes named her the world's most powerful celebrity in 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2010. In 2010 Life magazine named Winfrey one of the 100 people who changed the world, alongside such luminaries as Jesus Christ, Elvis Presley and Lady Mary Wortley Montagu. Winfrey was the only living woman to make the list. Also, in 2010, Winfrey topped the Forbes The Celebrity 100, commanding a whopping 315 million dollars!

Oprah founded Oprah’s Angel Network to encourage people to make a positive difference in the lives of others. With Free The Children, Oprah’s Angel Network built more than 55 schools in 12 countries, providing education for thousands of children in rural areas throughout the world. In 2005, Oprah’s Angel Network provided more than $1 million worth of school supplies, including school uniforms and shoes, to 18000 impoverished South African children. As part of the Hurricane Katrina and Rita recovery efforts, the Network helped more than 1000 families get back into their homes and helped restore more than 400 homes in eight communities around Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama. Oprah’s Angel Network also built the Seven Fountains Primary School in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Opened in 2007, the school serves more than 1000 boys and girls and serves as a model for teaching and learning throughout Africa. Inspired by “O, the Oprah Magazine’s” “Rescuing the World’s Girls” and “Live Your Best Life Tour” events, the Angel Network gave grants to organizations that provide life-changing assistance for women and girls. Oprah’s Angel Network introduced the Use Your Life Award on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” in 2000. From 2000 to 2003, more than 50 organizations that were making a difference in the lives of others received awards.

Besides that, Oprah’s private charity, “The Oprah Winfrey Foundation” has given thousands of grants to organizations who support education to children, empowerment of women, helping families in America and across the globe. Along with Nelson Mandela, she pledged to build a school in South Africa in December 2000. The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa contributed more than $40 million towards girls’ education in January 2007. The vision of the academy is to develop future women leaders of South Africa. “Oprah Winfrey Contributions to Society” helps to support women’s shelter, helps establish schools and scholarships, and builds youth centres and homes for the poor and needy, thus bringing in change for the future and changing the world for the betterment of the society. Oprah also initiated the National Child Protection Act in 1991, which has established a national database of convicted child abusers. The “Oprah Bill” was signed by President Bill Clinton on the 20th of December 1993 and came into law.

Oprah Winfrey has also started a pledge against texting while driving, called the “No Phone Zone.” Oprah has also given 300 members of her audience $1000 each to donate to a charity of their choice. As of 2003, Oprah Winfrey has donated an estimated $250 million and has changed the lives of millions.

“My philosophy is that not only are you responsible for your life, but doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment.”
Oprah Winfrey

We have chosen Oprah Winfrey as our famous personality because she has a lot of admirable traits that would help us to in our journey to pave a pathway towards success. Firstly, we admire Oprah Winfrey because she is hardworking. Life was not provided to her on a silver platter. She had to strive for what she wanted. Oprah once quoted, I always knew I was destined for greatness.” Through this quote, we can also tell that Oprah is a confident and empowering woman. Besides that, we admire Oprah as she is a philanthropist. As of 2003, Miss Winfrey has donated an estimated $250 million to charities. She has also built schools and provided education for the underprivileged. She makes all of us believe that we can be better people. Furthermore, Oprah is quite a helpful woman. She is ready to help people kick-start their careers. For example, she has helped Charice Pempengco, a pint-sized teenager with an incredible vocal range, into an international superstar. Charice believes that she would not have reached that level of fame without Oprah. These reasons are a few of the many reasons why we have picked Oprah Winfrey as our famous personality.

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