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Winfrey was born into poverty in rural Mississippi to a teenage single mother and later raised in inner-city Milwaukee.She has stated that she was molested during her childhood and early teens and became pregnant at 14; her son was born prematurely and died in infancy.Winfrey became an honors student, was voted Most Popular Girl, and joined her high school speech team at East Nashville High School, placing second in the nation in dramatic interpretation.She won an oratory contest, which secured her a full scholarship to Tennessee State University, a historically black institution, where she studied communication.Her mother, Vernita Lee (1935–2018), was a housemaid.Winfrey's biological father is usually noted as Vernon Winfrey (born c.Their much-publicized contest was the subject of enormous scrutiny.TIME magazine wrote: Few people would have bet on Oprah Winfrey's swift rise to host of the most popular talk show on TV.
Winfrey's syndicated show brought in double Donahue's national audience, displacing Donahue as the number-one daytime talk show in America.1933), a coal miner turned barber turned city councilman who had been in the Armed Forces when she was born. A genetic test in 2006 determined that her matrilineal line originated among the Kpelle ethnic group, in the area that today is Liberia.However, Mississippi farmer and World War II veteran Noah Robinson Sr. Her genetic makeup was determined to be 89% Sub-Saharan African, 8% Native American, and 3% East Asian.January 29, 1954) is an American media executive, actress, talk show host, television producer and philanthropist.
She is best known for her talk show The Oprah Winfrey Show, broadcast from Chicago, which was the highest-rated television program of its kind in history and ran in national syndication for 25 years from 1986 to 2011.
Her grandmother taught her to read before the age of three and took her to the local church, where she was nicknamed "The Preacher" for her ability to recite Bible verses.