Best known for her multi-award-winning talk show ‘The Oprah Winfrey Show’, the highest-rated program of its kind in history, Oprah Winfrey is dubbed as the ‘Queen of all media’ and ranked as the richest African-American of the 20th century.
She was born into poverty in rural Mississippi to a teenage single mother. She was later raised in an inner-city Milwaukee neighborhood. She has often spoken about the hardships she experienced during childhood, saying she was raped at age 9 and at 13, after suffering years of abuse, she ran away from home. She became pregnant at 14. Her son, she said, died in infancy. While in high school, she landed a job in radio and began co-anchoring the local evening news at the age of 19. She got transferred to the daytime-talk-show arena because of her emotional ad-lib delivery.
She became a millionaire at age 32 when her talk show went national.
She is credited with creating a more intimate confessional form of media communication. Forbes’ international rich list has listed her as the world’s only black billionaire from 2004 to 2006 and as the first black woman billionaire in world history. As of 2014, she has a net worth in excess of 2.9 billion dollars and has overtaken former eBay CEO Meg Whitman as the richest self-made woman in America.