Saturday, August 1, 2009

Honorary Celebrity - Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey is the first Future Honorary Celebrity member, because she is a a leader who empowers, facilitates, and has gained the trust of trillions of people. Oprah has a legacy that is known worldwide, not very many people can cause the sales of beef to drop or cause a grilled chicken outage, however Oprah can. Wendy Williams has her friends in her head, however we have honorary The Future members who faciliate change, showcase leadership, and who advocate in demonstrating to individuals that they create their own possibilities.

Even though she had a rough childhood, Oprah Winfrey was destined for her role as the host of America’s number one ranked talk show, The Oprah Winfrey Show. Born into a southern Baptist family on January 29, 1954, she was raised for several years by her strict grandmother in the impoverished conditions of rural Mississippi.

At the age of three, Oprah began showing signs of being a whiz kid as she could read and recite from her favorite childhood books and even the Bible. Being a prodigy child allowed her to skip a few levels in grade school. And, after some rough years and in high school, she moved to the Tennessee where she graduated with honors. During that time, she won a full academic scholarship to university.

In 1976, after spending some time in Nashville’s local media circle as a news anchor, she moved to Baltimore. Then, seven years later, she moved to Chicago to host a show cal led AM Chicago. When the show moved from last place in the rankings to first nationwide, overtaking other top talk-show hosts, her success was only beginning. In a field dominated by white male hosts, other networks were in a dire need to keep up with Oprah’s avalanche-like success.

In the mid to late 90s, when other shows began doing more tacky material, she forced her show to stay on track with what it had always been successful delivering – honest stories of triumph or despair. With such a reputation, she was able to interview top celebrities about their real-life trials and tribulations on her show. Oprah allowed such idolized stars time to to share and show the public that they are in fact human too.

Oprah is more than just one of America’s most adored talk-show hosts. In 1985, she was a main character in a movie based on the novel The Color Purple. For her role, she was nominated for an Academy Award. More recently, in 1998-1999, she worked on the acclaimed novel-to-film adaptation of Beloved, where she also played the protagonist. In 2005, she was involved in the film-television making of Their Eyes Were Watching God. Additionally, she published two magazines, one called O and another called O at Home. In 2006, she will release her sixth book, not a biography or autobiography, but a book about weight loss. Furthermore, she will be doing a talk show with XM Radio, currently titled Oprah and Friends, wh ere she will do a 30-minute show once per week.

In her early thirties, Winfrey became a millionaire. Today, she is the only African- American billionaire and one of the richest people in the world. Her charity work is never-ending and she has won numerous awards for her philanthropy. She has donated more money and worked for more causes than many of the richest people in the world. She has even been adorned with the Bob Hope Humanitarian Award.

She continues her humanitarian stride at an unstoppable pace, while still bringing light to the issues that face our daily lives with all the empathy, care, and insightful commentaries that have made her one of the world’s most watched women.

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