Oprah Winfrey – One of the Most Influential Women in the World

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She is a known television personality, actress, producer, and a philanthropist. Although she has done various works in the media, Oprah is popular because of her show, The Oprah Winfrey Show. She has won many awards and is one of the wealthiest African-American individuals in the United States (Peck, 2010). Her wealth came after years of living in poverty and enduring abuse. Winfrey was born to a poor teenage girl in 1954 (Peck, 2010). She stayed with her grandmother during the first few years of her life. During that period, Winfrey was subjected to physical abuse.

After a few years, she joined her mother who lived in a poor and dangerous neighborhood. Winfrey’s mother did not have enough time to supervise and protect her child, and in turn, Oprah was sexually assaulted by different men. Some of the men who abused her were family members whom she trusted (Illouz, 2003). Winfrey’s first abuse happened when she was nine years old, and by the time she was 14 years she became pregnant (Illouz, 2003). Unfortunately, her baby died during infancy.

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After a few years, Winfrey was sent to stay at her father’s house. During her time there, she focused on her life and began performing better in school. That was the beginning of her story. Winfrey held several jobs before starting The Oprah Winfrey Show. She also started acting and later on, became a producer. She has also authored several books during her time.


Oprah Winfrey has openly discussed her struggle with depression in 1998 (McKenzie, 2017). Her depression was caused by the failure of her movie, Beloved, which had been produced in the same year. Winfrey had expected the movie to perform well at the box office, but things did not go as she had hoped (McKenzie, 2017). She had dedicated a lot of effort in the movies and could not believe that things did not turn out as planned. As a result, Winfrey started having negative thoughts and feelings about herself. The fact that she was already a successful person did not stop her from falling into depression. She felt like a failure at that moment.

During that period, Oprah sought solace in food. She would eat to suppress her emotions (McKenzie, 2017). At some point, Oprah began purchasing tickets to enhance the numbers at the box office.

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