Personal Collection of Oprah Winfrey
  • Oprah Winfrey's Rise to Queen of Daytime

    Happy birthday, Oprah! The talk show queen turned 59 on Jan. 29, 2013.
    ABC NEWS
  • Oprah Through the Years

    Oprah Winfrey, considered to be the most influential woman in the world, ended her daytime talk show on May 25, 2011 after a quarter century. Winfrey was born Jan. 29, 1954, into famously difficult circumstances in Kosciusko, Miss. There was no running water or electricity at her home, Winfrey said. Winfrey is pictured with her mother, Vernita Lee.
    Personal Collection of Oprah Winfrey
  • Oprah Through the Years

    Growing up, Winfrey bounced between homes, living with her mother in Mississippi and later Wisconsin and with her father, Vernon Winfrey, in Nashville, Tenn. An 8-year-old Winfrey is pictured in her fourth grade school photo in Nashville. Winfrey was raped and sexually abused by cousins and other relatives from the time she was nine years old. The talk show host shared her story with the world on a 1986 episode of her show.
    Personal Collection of Oprah Winfrey
  • Oprah Through the Years

    Winfrey, pictured here at age 13, was a promiscuous teen. During a 1988 interview with Barbara Walters, Winfrey said she used to run away from home and would often bring boys back to her house. When she was 14, her mother sent her to live in Nashville permanently with her strict father. At the time Winfrey was pregnant. Her son died when he was one week old.
    Personal Collection of Oprah Winfrey
  • Oprah Through the Years

    At 17, Winfrey entered a local "Miss Fire Prevention" contest and won. When asked about her career choice, Winfrey said she wanted to be a television journalist. "I am a little black girl standing on stage with all of these red-haired Miss Fire Prevention contestants ... [and] because all the other careers were taken ... I want to a nurse, I want to be a teacher, I want to be ... I thought, 'Okay, Barbara Walters,'" Winfrey recalled. "Who would have imagined ...who would even ... so even just to say 'I want to be a journalist like Barbara Walters' was so off-putting to everybody. Like, 'Who ... who is she that she thinks that can happen?'" <P> After her win, Winfrey was offered a job at WVOL radio in Nashville, and she later met her mentor, Barbara Walters.
    Personal Collection of Oprah Winfrey
  • Oprah Through the Years

    Winfrey's television career kicked off when she was 19. She became the first female African-American news anchor at a local Nashville station. <P> In 1984, Winfrey moved to Chicago to host the morning show "AM Chicago." The program soon beat the top-rated "Phil Donohue Show" and was renamed "The Oprah Winfrey Show." It would become the highest-rated talk show in TV history, broadcast in 147 countries, and "The Oprah Winfrey Show" would remain on top of the ratings for a quarter century.
    Personal Collection of Oprah Winfrey
  • Oprah Through the Years

    Winfrey with Barbara Walters in 1988 for the first of many interviews they would do together.
    Ida Astute/ABC News
  • Inside Oprah's Most Private Thoughts

    In the April 2011 issue of O Magazine, Winfrey published some of her private journal entries over the years, including her thoughts on her early dating life and her work on the 1985 film "The Color Purple." Winfrey received an Oscar nomination for her role of Sophia and went on to act in and produce several motion pictures and television movies, including "Beloved" and "Their Eyes Were Watching God." The media mogul has kept a journal since she was 15 and says the practice comforts her.
    O Magazine
  • Oprah Through the Years

    Over the last 25 years on her show, Winfrey has interviewed more than 29,000 guests, from politicians to celebrities, like John Travolta.
    George Burns/2003 Harpo Productions, Inc.
  • Go Inside Oprah's Personal Journal!

    When Winfrey got a chance to interview one of her idols, singing legend Tina Turner, in 1997, she donned one of Turner's wigs and later danced on stage with Turner. <p> Here, they practice some of the moves on Winfrey's show.
    Harpo, Inc./George Burns
  • Go Inside Oprah's Personal Journal!

    Julia Roberts made another visit to "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in November 2004 while pregnant with her twins. Winfrey showered her with gifts and rubbed her baby bump.
    Harpo, Inc./George Burns
  • Go Inside Oprah's Personal Journal!

    Comedian Chris Rock has appeared on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" 26 times, the most of any guest.
    Harpo, Inc./George Burns
  • Go Inside Oprah's Personal Journal!

    Winfrey has said that Diana Ross was one of the first black entertainers the future media mogul saw on television. In 2000, Winfrey invited Ross to her show. Ross returned in 2011 with her five children and grandson and reunited with "Mahogany" co-star Billie Dee Williams.
    Harpo, Inc./George Burns
  • Go Inside Oprah's Personal Journal!

    Winfrey has celebrated her 40th and 50th birthday on her show. For her 50th birthday, friends John Travolta, Stevie Wonder, Tina Turner and best friend Gayle King joined her on the set on Jan. 29, 2004.
    Harpo, Inc./George Burns
  • Go Inside Oprah's Personal Journal!

    Soon after Winfrey launched her successful book club in 1996, she chose Nobel-prize-winning author Toni Morrison and her book "Song of Solomon." Morrison's other books, "The Bluest Eye," Winfrey's favorite, "Paradise" and "Sula" were also book club selections. Having a book chosen for Oprah's Book Club was a publishers dream since it guaranteed a bestseller.
    Harpo, Inc./George Burns
  • Go Inside Oprah's Personal Journal!

    When Winfrey chose James Frey's purported memoir "A Million Little Pieces" for her book club, it erupted into the biggest controversy in the show's history after it was revealed that Frey had made up parts of his life story. Frey returned to the show in January 2006 for what he later called a "public stoning" led by Winfrey. The talk show host invited him back for a two-part interview in her final season for what might be considered an apology.
    Harpo, Inc./George Burns
  • Oprah Through the Years

    The Frey controversy notwithstanding, Winfrey has an extremely loyal fan base and whatever she touches seems to turn to gold. Books and products with her endorsements fly off the shelves. She's launched the television careers of popular personalities like Dr. Oz, Dr. Phil and Nate Berkus. The "Oprah's Favorite Things" show has often been the most-watched episode of the year.
    Courtesy O Magazine
  • Go Inside Oprah's Personal Journal!

    In May, 2010, she had some of her proteges join her at New York's Radio City Music Hall. From left, Nate Berkus, Dr. Oz, Dr. Phil McGraw, Suze Orman with Winfrey.
    Harpo, Inc./George Burns
  • Go Inside Oprah's Personal Journal!

    President Barack Obama and First Lady Michele Obama returned to "The Oprah Winfrey Show" for Winfrey's final season in May 2011.
    Harpo, Inc./George Burns
  • Go Inside Oprah's Personal Journal!

    Former South African president Nelson Mandela was the first black president Winfrey had on her show. Here they are in 2000.
    Harpo, Inc./George Burns
  • Oprah Through the Years

    Her relationship with Mandela inspired Winfrey to open the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa in 2007. She chose 152 of South Africa's neediest girls to attend. Winfrey has been a leader in philanthropy, donating millions through her private foundation.
    Benny Gool/2007 Harpo Productions, Inc.
  • Oprah Through the Years

    A seat in Oprah's studio audience can be a ticket to one incredible surprise after another. In 2004, for the premiere of her "Wildest Dreams" season, Oprah gave each of her 276 audience members a car. In an interview for O, the Oprah Magazine, Winfrey said it was one of the rare episodes of the show she's watched. "We were all so absolutely high from the experience that about 20 of us came up to my office and watched it again," she said.
    George Burns/Harpo Productions, Inc.
  • Oprah Through the Years

    Gayle King has been Oprah's BFF and partner-in-crime since the 1980s when the two met while working at a local television station in Baltimore. At the time Oprah was a news anchor and King was a production assistant. Since then two have been inseparable both professionally and personally, sparking unfounded rumors that the two are gay. King has become a trendsetter in her own right, hosting her own talk show and serving as the editor-at-large of O, the Oprah Magazine.
    Rex
  • Go Inside Oprah's Personal Journal!

    In 2006, Winfrey and Gayle King prepared to hit the road. The best buddies have taken many trips together, including a hilarious camping expedition which appeared on an episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" during the final season.
    Harpo, Inc./George Burns
  • Oprah Through the Years

    The other steady in Winfrey's life is Stedman Graham. Since 1986, Winfrey has been romantically involved with Graham, a businessman, entrepreneur and speaker. The two were engaged in 1992, but never married. Winfrey has been open with the public about sexual abuse and her personal struggle with her weight, but she has kept her personal relationships private.
    George Burns/ Harpo Productions, Inc.
  • Go Inside Oprah's Personal Journal!

    Author and poet Maya Angelou is another big influence in Winfrey's life. A frequent visitor to the show, Angelou chats with Winfrey on April 4, 2002.
    Harpo, Inc./George Burns
  • Oprah Winfrey and half-sister Patricia on the Oprah Winfrey Show

    Talk-show queen Oprah Winfrey revealed a "bombshell family secret" on her show, telling her viewers in 2010 that she had recently learned she had a half-sister whom her mother had hidden from her for decades. Winfrey's half-sister, single mother of two Patricia, pictured left, had been given up for adoption in Milwaukee, Wis., by Winfrey's mother, Vernita Lee, in 1963. Winfrey said the news about her half-sister left her "speechless."
    ABC News
  • Oprah Through the Years

    Winfrey announced in November 2009 that she would end her namesake show after the 25th season. Instead, she will focus on the launch of her own network, OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network, which debuted in January 2011. Winfrey opened up to Barbara Walters, whom she's known since the beginning of her career, on her life and future in "A Barbara Walters Special: Oprah, The Next Chapter."
    George Burns/ Harpo Productions
  • Oprah Through the Years

    To kick off her final "Farewell Season," Winfrey gave the studio audience another amazing giveaway: a trip to Australia. Winfrey announced she would fly her entire audience of about 300 with her.
    George Burns/2010 Harpo Productions, Inc.
  • Go Inside Oprah's Personal Journal!

    Oprah bonded with Elvis the Koala when she took her show to Australia in January 2011.
    Harpo, Inc./George Burns
  • Go Inside Oprah's Personal Journal!

    Winfrey is about to join the pantheon of other former talk show hosts. In November 2010, she invited, from left, Geraldo Rivera, Ricki Lake, Phil Donahue, Sally Jesse Raphael and Montel Williams to her show.
    Harpo, Inc./George Burns
  • Oprah Through the Years

    Oprah Winfrey is worth an estimated $2.7 billion. She calls the 42-acre "Promised Land" estate in Santa Barbara, Calif., her home. She'll be spending more time there when she wraps up "The Oprah Winfrey Show" and turns her full attention to her startup cable network OWN.
    X17
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