Oprah was born on January 29, 1954, in Kosciusko, Mississippi. Her name was supposed to have been "Orpah," after a biblical figure in the book of Ruth. Her father is Vernon Winfrey Vernita Lee; her grandmother was Hattie Mae Lee.
Winfrey was a precocious child who begged her kindergarten teacher to skip her to the first grade; She also was moved to the second grade. Her parents, who were not married, separated when she was very young and sent her to live with her grandparents.
When she was six she moved to Milwaukee to be with her mother. During this time she was abused physically and sexually by male family members and friends. By the age of fourteen, she decided to live with her father in Nashville, Tennessee, and it was there that her life was put back on track.
Oprah went to Lincoln High School in 1968. Then she went to East High School. After that, she went to Tennessee State University. She was a very good student. She liked Math, and Spelling, but her favorite was Reading. She also was interested in many other subjects.
Oprah became famous within a year, by a guy named Quincy Jones. He had been making a movie. While sitting in his hotel he turned on the television, he saw Oprah and realized that she was perfect for one of the roles. Then as she began to appear in movies, people realized she was a good actor and they fell in love with her. .
As a talented actress, Winfrey has appeared in the motion pictures The Color Purple (1985), Native Son (1986), and in the television move The Women of Brewster Place (1989). Oprah has won numerous awards for her work in television and film. She won the Horatio Alger Award in 1993 and was inducted into the TV Hall of Fame in 1993. .
At the 1995 Daytime Emmy Award, the "Oprah Winfrey Show" won its seventh Emmy Award for best talk show and Winfrey won an Emmy as best daytime TV host. She has won an Emmy for The Oprah Winfrey Show in 1986, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, and 1997 (Best Host of a Talk Show).