After a long hiatus…presenting...Oprah Winfrey, the television host of The Oprah Winfrey Show, who is the world’s only black billionaire, and well…the most influential woman in the world.
So, you see…it was essential that we waited!
Oprah Winfrey’s Shortest Biography on the Web (I hope so.)
Oprah was born on 29th January 1954, somewhere in rural Mississippi, a difficult place for an African American, even as late as 1950s. She had a difficult childhood – her mom definitely wasn’t the greatest moms in the world, possibly because she herself was a teenager when Oprah was born. Vernita, her mom was a maid who left little Oprah with her Grandmother Hattie Mae Lee. According to Wikipedia (where do you think I got about half my information from,) they were so poor that Oprah had to wear dresses made of potato sacks! Guess that was when she made up her mind to kick poverty out of her life.
Oprah’s miserable childhood wasn’t just the result of her potato-sack-clad poverty, but also the loose morals of her cousin, her uncle, and a “friend” of the family, who molested her. Oprah chose to run away when she turned 13, became pregnant at 14, and lost her child at birth. Finally, her mom sent her to the gentleman who she now calls her father (and who possibly is,) Vernon Winfrey. Her dad decided that she should study. Oprah was a bright and extremely popular student as a child. One thing led to another and she began to read news at the local black radio station.
Oprah’s popularity continued to grow and in 1983, she hosted A. M. Chicago. Within a few months, she had overtaken Phil Donahue, another media personality of great caliber. This was the time when The Oprah Winfrey Show was born.
Read Oprah’s detailed biography here.
The Oprah Winfrey show drew its largest audience when Oprah interviewed Michael Jackson: 36.5 Million; David Letterman drew its largest audience when Letterman interviewed Oprah: 13.45 Million! Wow!
Oprah’s Personal Life
The glimpses of Oprah’s personal life can often be seen in her show. She’s suffered a good many lows in her life, including the time when her hair fell out completely (beware of getting your hair permed, if it could happen to Oprah, it could happen to anyone in the world,) and then her weight problem which was a result of her depression (no rewards for guessing who caused the depression – a man, of course. The point to note (and learn) is that in Oprah’s life, these could’ve been inflection points – but she pulled herself out before she was sucked into the whirlpool of depression.
Where is Oprah Now?
Just yesterday, Oprah received Kennedy Center Honors from Obama, along with the hero of her youth, Paul McCartney of the Beatles.
Comedian Chris Rock parodied the situation by saying, ‘No one deserves this award more than Oprah Winfrey, but no one needs it less,’ comedian Chris Rock said to laughter from the audience.
The Oprah Effect and Oprahfication
And finally, if you could get those smart, cunning, difficult-to-impress marketers to speak of the Oprah Effect, you must really be something! Quoting from the Wikipedia entry on Oprah Winfrey, “The power of Winfrey’s opinions and endorsement to influence public opinion, especially consumer purchasing choices, has been dubbed The Oprah Effect” Then there’s something called “Oprahfication“, which is the act of making a public confession and being cured, in the process. Oprah thus, is almost a religious institution where you could make a confession and relieve yourself of your sins.
Now about the question that’s I can hear coming from the depths of your heart…
How much does Oprah Winfrey Earn?
Good question. Around 300 Million USD a year!
So…you know how much it must’ve cost me to bring her to my blog. Well, now that she’s here…go get Oprahfied!
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Great caricature, Shafali.
One of the reasons I hold Oprah in such high regard and respect is not that she has made such a large amount of money, but that she has been an incredible steward of that huge responsibility. When she does good works, often she has given us an opportunity to join her with our little contribution. It gives us an opportunity to join in the joyful sense of doing something worthwhile in a powerful way.
I believe she gives us the choice of opening our hearts or not. We can’t use the excuse that we don’t have enough to give!
Thorough enjoying your work, dear Shafali.
Thanks Amy. I look forward to your visits and comments. If you are on Oprah’s side, she must be a gem of a person 🙂
Shafali, you are a master caricaturist, as Heart has said above. This is one of the your bests! Why do all super-rich people have a rags to riches story? And that statistic about David Letterman and Oprah is, well, staggering! I liked your work and your words too 🙂
Thanks Ajay:) I guess I’ll continue to learn forever.
About the Super rich people having a rags to riches story, I guess it is so because they can take real risks bordering on crazy! You can do that only when you have nothing to lose. Material to reflect upon?!
Great likeness of Oprah. I love the “$ sign” pedestal her bust rests upon. Now there is a person who rose out of the ashes to become one of the world’s most influential women…..at least in our part of the world. If only her knowledge of how to make money and influence people could be packaged into a gift box for all mankind. What a wonderful Christmas present that would make for everyone. Sharing the wealth sure sounds like heaven to me. But I believe that once upon a time I heard that if all of the money now in the hands of the wealthy would be distributed evenly among everyone in the world…..after 10 years, the same people who started out with all that money would have it all back again and then some.
Oprah seems to be a genuinely nice person who can spin wool into gold and give a new meaning to being an entrepreneur in a dog eats dog world. I will miss her program but I am sure that we have not seen the last of her on TV or in the news.
Thanks Nancy. I haven’t seen Oprah’s shows so I was concerned about the likeness. Your comment has set my doubts to rest:) Whatever I read about Oprah was all good and so I am sure she deserves everything – her fame and her wealth. We don’t mind gold-spinners as long as they use their effort and not others’ hides to spin their gold from:)
I do hope that she decides to continue with her program…it’d be good for her fans.
I got Oprahfied, and electrified too..!!!!!!! The eyes, her beautiful, expressive eyes, just the way they are in real life! I wonder if any amount of computer graphics can match this?!
Of course, I also feel you spent the 400$ she spends on getting her eyebrows shaped, because they look too good 😀 Extremely well done and looks like the mice are thriving and getting spoilt rotten.. 😉
Also, just the right amount of tribute in words to the Oprah phenomenon.. 🙂
Thanks Rachana…now you can help me understand the Oprahfication bit better:) Nothing explains a concept better than a personal illustration. I don’t know much about computer graphics, except that I can draw portraits using Photoshop. I think the software allows you a fair bit of control through its extensive brush palette. Nevertheless, I won’t dare to compare. The mice wanted me to tell you that Oprah treats them like her own – and so they indeed are getting spoilt rotten:)