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Oprah Winfrey: The American Icon

Oprah Winfrey is a celebrated talk show celebrity from a humble background who has invested her time in changing the world through her show and charity works. Katherine Krohn talks about the early childhood of Oprah and what she went through living in a rural farm in Mississippi. Oprah was born in 1954 and at the age of four years, she had to live with her grandmother since her mother had left for Milwaukee to search for work. She was only four years old and had to watch as her grandmother went through many hardships to help them survive. This was the time when Oprah decided that her life would never be like that of her grandmother’s. Krohn talks about how Oprah’s Grandmother Hattie Mae taught Oprah how to read the bible at an early age after she realized Oprah’s interest. Oprah discovered her talent at an early age when she stood up in church to address the public courageously and everybody saw beautiful potential in her. Therefore, this was just the beginning of a beautiful talent that would influence the lives of others positively.

Fry talks about the life of Oprah and her achievements and focuses on her education as well where she further utilized her talents and showed interest in journalism. Most of her childhood years were spent moving from her home to home since her parents were separated. While living with her father in Nashville she was enrolled in elementary school where she enjoyed the benefits of a library and within no time she was giving public speeches again as it was her passion. She studied her fourth grade year in Milwaukee where she lived with her mother. Oprah was lucky to attend a good high school known as Nicolet High School where she was the only Black student and enjoyed the attention she received because of this factor. Fry talks about the traumatizing events that she underwent through sexual abuse by relatives. Unable to find comfort in her mother she succumbed to unruly behavior and later fell pregnant but lost the baby. Fry talks about how Oprah was able to overcome all this, emerge successful and an idol to many Americans.

Here Tyrant and Springer talk about Oprah as a strong role model to the women and the encouragement she offers to many people around the world. She is seen as the perfect example of a person whose life has changed from rugs to riches. Although she went through many challenges, Oprah was determined to succeed and use her success to help others. It all started with her realizing her talent at an early age and using it to her advantage. When she was given an assignment to attend a White House Conference in Colorado and she did exceptionally well it opened other doors for her, earning scholarships and job opportunities. She embraced these opportunities and was determined to work her way to the top despite the fact that she had faced a traumatic experience in her youth. She overcame the challenges she faced and emerged successful and very inspirational. The fact that Oprah does not focus on the past and the mistakes she made as a young youth but rather on the future and her goals has been very inspiring to many people globally.

Garson discusses the life of Oprah as she ventured into the life of television and how it influenced her life and those of others. Journalism has been Oprah’s passion since she was a teenager. She followed her dream and was able to co-anchor several news broadcasts, she even got anchor position but did not adapt well to it and ended up being transferred to a talk show. Here she felt at ease with everyone and she related well with the guests on the show, which enabled her to pick up an audience fast. In 1983, she hosted a morning talk show in Chicago known as WJZ-TV. After dominating the show for a while, it changed name to The Oprah Winfrey show in 1985. She fit perfectly here, continued to attract the attention of many listeners, and excelled in many ways. Her talk shows continued to grow more intense since she discussed issues that everyone faces in their day-to-day activities. Television was where she belonged and felt that she could reach out to many people who suffer silently and be able to offer them comfort through her shows. Her audiences felt they could relate with her talk shows and grew more attached to them because it encouraged them and offered them comfort.

Oprah has achieved many things through her talk show with time and has been using her influence to help people and make the world a better place. Oprah has been able to make a fortune through her show and has invested her money in helping the less unfortunate in the society. Since she had been abused as a child, she started a campaign that would be able to protect abused children and in 1993, President Clinton passed the Oprah bill. Oprah has helped change the lives of women because they relate with her in so many ways regarding her personal life, which she often talks about publicly. Kirkwood talks about how Oprah focuses on making the lives of people better like in 2002 she visited South Africa and gave the children there hope through the Christmas Kindness Project. She has also opened many charity networks that are being put into good use by helping people with HIV. Therefore, through her talk show she has inspired many people and exceeded her audience’s expectations.

One of Oprah’s big achievements so far has been the opening of her school in South Africa known as Leadership Academy has been an inspiration to many people. This school caters for girls’ education hence, promoting gender equality all around the world. Her choosing a third world country shows that her interest is to help the less fortunate and offer them good chances in life. Oprah has invested a lot of her money in this school hoping to give these girls hope for a better future and best education possible. Creating a learning institution for the unfortunate families has been one of Oprah’s goals and she has been able to achieve that through hard work and dedication. The former President of South Africa gave Oprah praise for helping build on the country’s future. This achievement inspired Oprah to open a second school in South Africa, which caters for girls as well offering them quality education. These schools help the girls in South Africa enjoy other options other than marriage. Oprah Winfrey has dedicated her life to contributing to society by helping disadvantaged people have a better life. She has changed the lives of many people over the years through her talk show and is looked up to by many girls as a role model.


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