Oprah Winfrey

At the heart of everything Oprah Winfrey does, there is a consistent message – that individuals should take personal responsibility for their lives, and to improve the world. Winfrey was raised by her grandmother in Kosciusko, Mississippi. Despite having a modest childhood, Winfrey became an industry trailblazer and one of the most notable woman on television to date.

Winfrey is a producer, actress, television icon. She was the first Black American woman to own her own production company. She was nominated for an Academy Award in her first movie, The Color Purple. Winfrey was once television’s highest-paid entertainer as the successful host of a syndicated television talk show that reached 15 million people a day. The Oprah Show lasted for twenty-five seasons.

She does all that she can to eradicate child abuse. As a victim herself, Winfrey knows the damage abuse does to young lives. She was a major force in the drafting, lobbying, and passage of the National Child Protection Act. The Act was signed into law by President Clinton in 1994. The Act establishes a national registry of child abusers to help employers and those working with children to screen out dangerous people.

Winfrey is also a committed philanthropist, providing significant assistance to schools (Morehouse College, Tennessee State University, Chicago Academy of Arts) as well as to the Chicago Public Schools. She also funds battered women’s shelters and campaigns to catch child abusers.

Winfrey launched her television network OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network) on January 1, 2011. She is credited for launching the careers of Dr. Oz, Dr.Phil, Nate Berkus,  and Iyanla Vanzant.   

Year Honored: 1994
Birth: 1954 -
Born In: Mississippi
Achievements: Arts, Business, Philanthropy
Worked In: California, District of Columbia, Illinois, Maryland, New York, Tennessee, South Africa, United States of America
Educated In: Tennessee, United States of America
Schools Attended: Tennessee State University