A Celebration of Women™
is honored to share this Tribute, for one of the most Active Woman of North America, (perhaps the Most Multi-faceted Woman), rising above seemingly insurmountable challenges, against all odds, has risen to the Top of the World in Accomplishment, Business, Charity, Media and Notoriety.
Help us Celebrate the Life of one of the most Amazing Women in our World,
and one of the strongest examples of Courage under Fire, Grace under Pressure; well, put simply…a CLASSY LADY!
WOMAN of ACTION™
Oprah Gail Winfrey (born 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.
Winfrey was born into poverty in rural Mississippi to a teenage single mother and later raised in an inner-city Milwaukee neighborhood. Though criticized for unleashing confession culture and promoting controversial self-help fads, she is generally admired and has been praised for overcoming adversity to become a benefactor to others.
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.
Oprah believes Hattie Mae Lee’s Spirit lives on in every grandmother caring for their grandchildren in South Africa. “I believe just like my grandmother was a very powerful woman [and] stepped in and took care of me, so are all the other grandmothers in Africa who are stepping in and raising to the best of their ability, their grandchildren,” Oprah says.
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.
Credited with creating a more intimate confessional form of media communication, she is thought to have popularized and revolutionized the tabloid talk show genre pioneered by Phil Donahue, which a Yale study claims broke 20th century taboos and allowed LGBT people to enter the mainstream.
She has been ranked the richest African American of the 20th century and beyond, 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.
In 2006 she became an early supporter of Barack Obama and one analysis estimates she delivered over a million votes in the close 2008 Democratic primary race, an achievement for which the governor of Illinois considered offering her a seat in the U.S. senate.
In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, Oprah asked her viewers to open their hearts—and they did. As of September 2006, donations to the Oprah Angel Network Katrina registry total more than $11 million. Homes have been built in four states—Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama—before the one year anniversary of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
Winfrey also matched her viewers’ donations by personally giving $10 million to the cause.
Although Winfrey’s show is known for raising money through her public charity and the cars and gifts she gives away on TV are often donated by corporations in exchange for publicity, behind the scenes Winfrey personally donates more of her own money to charity than any other show-business celebrity in America. In 2005 she became the first black person listed by Business Week as one of America’s top 50 most generous philanthropists, having given an estimated $303 million. Winfrey was the 32nd most philanthropic. She has also been repeatedly ranked as the most philanthropic celebrity.
Winfrey has also helped 250 African-American men continue or complete their education at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia.
Winfrey was the recipient of the first Bob Hope Humanitarian Award at the 2002 Emmy Awards for services to television and film.
To celebrate two decades on national TV, and to thank her employees for their hard work, Winfrey took her staff and their families (1065 people in total) on vacation to Hawaii in the summer of 2006.
In 2004, Winfrey and her team filmed an episode of her show, Oprah’s Christmas Kindness , in which Winfrey, her best friend Gayle King, her partner Stedman Graham, and some crew members travelled to South Africa to bring attention to the plight of young children affected by Poverty and AIDS.
During the 21-day trip, Winfrey and her crew visited schools and orphanages in poverty-stricken areas, and distributed Christmas presents to 50,000 children, with dolls for the girls and soccer balls for the boys. In addition, each child was given a backpack full of school supplies and two sets of school uniforms, socks, underwear and shoes. Throughout the show, Winfrey appealed to viewers to donate money to Oprah’s Angel Network for poor and AIDS-affected children in Africa, and pledged that she personally would oversee where that money was spent. From that show alone, viewers around the world donated over $7,000,000.
Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls
Winfrey invested $40 million and some of her time establishing the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls near Johannesburg, South Africa. The school opened in January 2007 with an enrollment of 152 pupils and features such amenities as a beauty salon and yoga studio.
Nelson Mandela praised Winfrey for overcoming her own disadvantaged youth to become a benefactor for others and for investing in the future of South Africa.
Others, including Allison Samuels of Newsweek, remarked on the “extravagance” of the school and questioned whether the $40 million might have been spent to benefit a far greater number of students, had the money been spent with less emphasis on luxurious surroundings and more emphasis on practicality. Winfrey insists that beautiful surroundings will inspire greatness in the future leaders of Africa.
Winfrey’s reach extends far beyond the shores of the U.S.; her show airs in 140 countries around the world. In the U.S. alone her show is viewed by an estimated 30 million people a week though her U.S. audience has fallen by half over the past 10 years. In 1998, her show had an estimated 14 million daily viewers, in 2005, her show averaged nearly an estimated 9 million American viewers per day, and by 2008 it was averaging an estimated 7.3 million viewers, though it remained the highest rated talk show. According to the Harris poll, Winfrey was America’s favorite television personality in 1998, 2000, 2002–2006, and 2009. Winfrey was especially popular among women, Democrats, political moderates, Baby Boomers, Generation X, Southern Americans and East Coast Americans.
Outside the U.S., Winfrey has become increasingly popular in the Arab world. The Wall Street Journal reported that MBC 4, an Arab satellite channel, centered its entire programming around reruns of her show because it was drawing record numbers of female viewers in Saudi Arabia. The New York Times reported that The Oprah Winfrey Show, with Arabic subtitles, is now broadcast twice each weekday on MBC 4. Winfrey’s modest dress, combined with her triumph over adversity and abuse has caused some women in Saudi Arabia to idealize her.
Rankings as World’s most Influential Woman
Winfrey was called “arguably the world’s most powerful woman” by CNN and Time.com, “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” of 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.
Time magazine wrote,
“Few people would have bet on Oprah Winfrey’s swift rise to host of the most popular talk show on TV. In a field dominated by white males, she is a black female of ample bulk. As interviewers go, she is no match for, say, Phil Donahue… What she lacks in journalistic toughness, she makes up for in plainspoken curiosity, robust humor and, above all empathy. Guests with sad stories to tell are apt to rouse a tear in Oprah’s eye … They, in turn, often find themselves revealing things they would not imagine telling anyone, much less a national TV audience. It is the talk show as a group therapy session.”
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 senator 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, along side such luminaries as Jesus Christ, the prophet Muhammad and Isaac Newton.
Winfrey was the only living Woman to make the list.
“Oprah Winfrey arguably has more influence on the culture than any university president, politician, or religious leader, except perhaps the Pope. “
Oprah’s influence on society reached out into all areas of life, including the influence of the commodities market when she was heard making a random statement on air …..causing herself a lawsuit, that ended in her favor, of course.
Read more below…
Winfrey’s influence reaches far beyond pop culture and into unrelated industries where many believe she has the power to cause enormous market swings and radical price changes with a single comment. During a show about mad cow disease with Howard Lyman (aired on April 16, 1996), Winfrey exclaimed, “It has just stopped me cold from eating another burger!” Texas cattlemen sued her and Lyman in early 1998 for “false defamation of perishable food” and “business disparagement“, claiming that Winfrey’s remarks subsequently sent cattle prices tumbling, costing beef producers some $12 million.
On February 26, after a trial spanning over two months in an Amarillo, Texas court in the thick of cattle country, a jury found Winfrey and Lyman were not liable for damages. (After the trial, she received a postcard from Roseanne Barr reading, “Congratulations, you beat the meat!”)
In June 2005 the first case of mad cow disease in a cow native to the United States was detected in Texas. The USDA concluded that it was most likely infected in Texas prior to 1997.
In 2005 Winfrey was named the greatest Woman in American history as part of a public poll as part of The Greatest American. She was ranked #9 overall on the list of greatest Americans.
According to Gallup’s annual most admired poll, Americans consistently rank Winfrey as one of the Most Admired Women in the World. Her highest rating came in 2007 when she was statistically tied with Hillary Clinton for first place.
Polls estimating Winfrey’s personal popularity have been inconsistent. A November 2003 Gallup poll estimated that 73% of American adults had a favorable view of Winfrey. Another Gallup poll estimated the figure at 74% in January 2007, although it dropped to 66% when Gallup conducted the same poll in October 2007. A December 2007 Fox News poll put the figure at 55%.
The Oprah Winfrey Show
In 1983, Winfrey relocated to Chicago to host WLS-TV’s low-rated half-hour morning talk show, AM Chicago. The first episode aired on January 2, 1984. Within months after Winfrey took over, the show went from last place in the ratings to overtaking Donahue as the highest rated talk show in Chicago.
It was renamed The Oprah Winfrey Show, expanded to a full hour, and broadcast nationally beginning September 8, 1986. On her 20th anniversary show, Oprah revealed that movie critic Roger Ebert was the one who persuaded her to sign a syndication deal with King World. Ebert predicted that she would generate 40 times as much revenue as his television show, At the Movies.
Already having surpassed Donahue in the local market, Winfrey’s syndicated show quickly doubled Donahue’s national audience, displacing Donahue as the number one day-time talk show in America. Their much publicized contest was the subject of enormous scrutiny.
Winfrey on the first national broadcast of The Oprah Winfrey Show in 1986.
TV columnist Howard Rosenberg said, “She’s a roundhouse, a full course meal, big, brassy, loud, aggressive, hyper, laughable, lovable, soulful, tender, low-down, earthy and hungry. And she may know the way to Phil Donahue’s jugular.”
Newsday’s Les Payne observed, “Oprah Winfrey is sharper than Donahue, wittier, more genuine, and far better attuned to her audience, if not the world.”
Martha Bayles of The Wall Street Journal wrote, “It’s a relief to see a gab-monger with a fond but realistic assessment of her own cultural and religious roots.”
In the mid-1990s, Winfrey adopted a less tabloid-oriented format, doing shows about heart disease in women, geopolitics with Lisa Ling, spirituality and meditation, and gift-giving and home decorating shows.
By the mid 1990s she had reinvented her show
with a focus on Literature, Self-improvement, and Spirituality.
She often interviews celebrities on issues that directly involve them in some way, such as cancer, charity work, or substance abuse. In addition, she interviews ordinary people who have done extraordinary things or been involved in important current issues.
In 1993, Winfrey hosted a rare prime-time interview with Michael Jackson, which became the fourth most watched event in American television history as well as the most watched interview ever, with an audience of 100 million. Another notable show was the first episode of the 19th season of The Oprah Winfrey Show in Autumn 2004. During the show, each member of the audience received a new Pontiac G6 sedan; the 276 cars were donated by Pontiac as part of a publicity stunt. The show received much media attention, and even more after it came out that members of the audience had to pay taxes up to $7,000 if they wanted to keep the car.
Winfrey hosted the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize Concert with Tom Cruise. The concert was broadcast in the United States on December 23, 2004, by E!.
As well as hosting and appearing on television shows, Winfrey co-founded the women’s cable television network Oxygen. She is also the president of Harpo Productions (Oprah spelled backwards).
Winfrey in Denmark in 2009, where she filmed a series of controversial interviews portraying its citizens as the happiest people in the world. In 2010 Bill O’Reilly of Fox News criticised these shows for promoting a left-wing society.
In September 2008, Winfrey received a storm of criticism after Matt Drudge of the Drudge Report reported that Winfrey refused to have Sarah Palin on her show allegedly due to Winfrey’s support for Barack Obama. Winfrey denied the report, maintaining that there never was a discussion regarding Palin appearing on her show. She said that after she made public her support for Obama she decided that she would not let her show be used as a platform for any of the candidates.
Although Obama appeared twice on her show, these appearances were prior to him declaring himself a candidate. Winfrey added that Palin would make a fantastic guest and that she would love to have her on the show ‘after the election’, which she did on 18 November 2009.
Another controversy in 2008 occurred when Winfrey endorsed author and spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle and his book, A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose, which sold several million copies after being selected for her book club. During a Webinar class, in which she promoted the book, Winfrey stated “God is a feeling experience and not a believing experience. If your religion is a believing experience…then that’s not truly God.”
Frank Pastore, a Christian radio talk show host on KKLA, was among the many Christian leaders who criticized Winfrey’s views, saying “if she’s a Christian, she’s an ignorant one, because Christianity is incompatible with New Age thought.”
In 2009 Winfrey was criticised for allowing actress Suzanne Somers to appear on her show to discuss hormone treatments that are not accepted by mainstream medicine.
In 2004, Winfrey made a deal to continue her show through the 2010–2011 season, extending the airing of her show to 25 years. In addition to the extension, the contract increased the number of planned episodes to 140 per season, until her final season, when it would return to the earlier episode count of 130.
Monday, September 13, 2010 The Oprah Winfrey Show
will air is Premiere Showing of it’s FINAL SEASON.
The show is set to end in 2011.
A long lived and well directed Epic….
Her final show is scheduled to air in September 2011.
OPRAH is still on the move in 2011 !!!
Here’s the deal…
Oprah Winfrey has been on TV for coming up on 25 years. For an hour a day, she’s been bringing “live your best life” television right into your living room. It’s been great, hasn’t it? Well now it’s time for what’s next. Not just for Oprah but what’s next for you.
OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network will be a 24/7 cable network devoted to self-discovery, to connecting you to your best self and to the world.
That’s right. 24/7. All day and all night. Whenever you want. TV designed to bring more better into your life.
It’s about time.
On January 1, 2011, you will be part of a new network, a network of people who are all interested in reaching their greatest potential.
Oprah will be with us every day. She’s the life force of OWN and will get a chance to explore all of her passions on the air.
OWN will explore the issues that matter to you and the moments that move you. We’ll look at your health, your home and your relationships.
We’ll show you stories of strength and transformation.
And we will engage you in your own transformation.
It’s your life. OWN it.
How can you watch? Discovery Health channel will become OWN, so if you have Discovery Health you’re in. Just click on the Channel Finder tab at the top of this page to find OWN in your area. If you do not receive Discovery Health, speak up. Your basic cable operator or satellite provider can hook you up.
And what happens between now and January 2011?
We are going to build this thing together, on television and online.
Read more: http://www.oprah.com/own/about.html#ixzz1Zg6YJaNU
Oprah Winfrey hits the stage at the 2011 Oscars held at the Kodak Theater on Sunday (February 27) in Los Angeles.
The 57-year-old media mogul wore a Zac Posen gown and presented the Best Documentary Award to the filmmakers of Inside Job.
OPRAH as a WOMAN of ACTION & as a HUMAN BEING, with frets of her OWN.
Even Oprah Winfrey has confidence issues.
” The queen of media has tackled plenty of challenges in her life, but she second-guessed herself when she held the power of programming for her Oprah Winfrey Network, a joint venture between the talk-show host and Discovery Communications.
While most network programmers have brand guidelines to help in the decision-making process, Winfrey enjoys a relatively free rein when it comes to OWN.
Still, in the time leading up to the Jan. 1 launch, she began fretting about her programming choices.
“Just a few weeks ago, I started thinking maybe I’m wrong. Maybe people really do want to watch housewives bicker,” Winfrey said. “I could absolutely be wrong about what I think people want to watch, and this could be the biggest lesson ever for me.”
Reason to worry?
And if the early ratings are any indication, she may have been right to worry a bit.
In its first month, OWN averaged 358,000 prime-time viewers in the target demographic of women 25 to 54, which was up 33 percent from last year’s numbers for Discovery Health, the network it replaced.
But according to ratings trackers tvbythenumbers.com, prime-time viewers in the network’s key demographic slipped to a mere 54,000 the week of Jan. 31-Feb. 6. By comparison, competitors Lifetime pulled in 394,000 viewers, Hallmark 182,000 and Oxygen 133,000 during the same week.
For her part, Winfrey doesn’t seem too concerned about the ratings.
“The number of people who found us surpassed my expectations and it proved that people were tired of the snark and the back-biting and wanted something different,” Winfrey said.
Looking at the lineup
OWN has yet to cancel any shows, and small production tweaks have been ongoing, which spokespeople for the network say is to be expected.
Overwhelmingly, the most popular original show on the network thus far has been “Season 25: Oprah Behind the Scenes,” which chronicles the current — and final season — of her popular talk show.
READ MORE HERE: Susan C. Young is a writer in Northern California. © 2011 MSNBC Interactive.
Since it’s launch in January, Oprah Winfrey’s OWN Network has been somewhat of a disappointment in terms of viewership. OWN’s live total day ratings among people between ages 25 and 54 were down 3.8% in the first quarter from the numbers that the channel it replaced, Discovery Health, delivered during the same period last year, says Deadline.
And Winfrey is finally starting to acknowledge this realization. She told a room of advertisers and ad buyers “we are all learning more and more about the viewers” and after the end of syndication of her daytime talk show in May, she will “get to devote [her] full attention to OWN.”
I’m not sure that her “full attention” is going to be enough to revive the network. What OWN needs is branding. Lifetime is “television for women.” BET is for “black entertainment.” Who exactly is OWN supposed to be targeting, and why is the company so afraid to say it?
It seems Winfrey doesn’t want to put herself in a box and brand the network as a channel for _________. But unless her target audience knows that they are the ones she’s courting, it may be unrealistic to expect anyone to come flocking to OWN anytime soon.
Women of our World, get onto your sets, and support this WOMAN of ACTION’S NEW ‘OWN’ NETWORK; celebrating all the work that this one powerhouse has done over the last 25 years for so many, many, many, many others in her life …. Take Action!
Official Website: http://www.oprah.com/index.html
OPRAH agrees that education of girls is the HOPE for a new world of balance and peace.
“Extra” correspondent AJ Calloway traveled all the way to South Africa to help Oprah Winfrey celebrate the first graduation ceremony of Oprah’s Leadership Academy for Girls.
Read more: http://extratv.warnerbros.com/celebrity_highlights/oprah_winfrey/#ixzz1nbLE9cjQ
Oprah Winfrey’s 2012 Oscars experience was a lot more pleasant than her first appearance at the Academy Awards in 1986 when she was nominated for The Color Purple – as she was wearing a dress that didn’t fit her.
The TV mogul, who was honoured with a Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award on Sunday (26Feb12), admits her Oscars debut was “one of the most horrible nights of my life“.
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WOMAN of ACTION™ – Oprah Winfrey * Tribute
February 27, 2012 By 18 Comments