Celebrating Oprah’s Record-Breaking Legacy

In honor of Black History Month, we’re focusing on powerful black women who are changing the world. Today we’re honoring the legendary Oprah Winfrey, whose accomplishments and contributions have made history. 

Oprah Winfrey is the definition of breaking barriers, shattering glass ceilings, and changing the narrative. Her work in television and production have earned her the title of the ultimate media mogul as she has overtaken unprecedented ground in entertainment. Her continuous successes have shattered glass ceilings for women and changed the narrative for African-Americans on television.

Her story is both inspiring and motivational as it is the epitome of an American success story.

Born to an unwed teenage mother, Oprah Winfrey spent her first years on her grandmother’s farm in Kosciusko, Mississippi, while her mother looked for work in the North. At age six, Oprah moved in with her mother, which is where her life would change drastically. During the long days when her mother was absent from their inner-city apartment, young Oprah was repeatedly molested by male relatives and another visitor. The abuse, which went from the ages of nine to 13, was emotionally devastating.

Despite her struggles and challenges, Oprah was eventually able to overcome her traumas and become the first African-American female billionaire.

Oprah Winfrey accomplishments

Win McNamee/Getty Images

Oprah first became the “Queen Of Daytime Television” with the creation of her talk show The Oprah Winfrey Show, which began airing in 1986. In a time plagued by trashy talk shows, Winfrey pledged to make her show respectable. The Oprah Winfrey Show aired nationally for 25 seasons from September 8, 1986 to May 25, 2011 in Chicago. Produced and hosted by Oprah Winfrey, it remains the highest-rated talk show in American television history.

Oprah has established herself as an all-around outstand talent. Aside from daytime television, Oprah has become an actress, staring in critically acclaimed films such as The Color PurpleCharlotte’s Web and The Princess and the Frog.

She is the owner of her own production company as well as her own television network, the aptly-titled OWN. OWN has become increasingly popular, airing many diverse television shows in partnership with successful producer Tyler Perry.

Over the years, Oprah has used her celebrity to promote the many philanthropic ventures she supports. After filming a Christmas program in South Africa, she established the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls, a school for young women near Johannesburg.

MEYERTON, HENLEY ON KLIP - JANUARY 14: Oprah Winfrey poses with the Graduates on her arrival at the inaugural graduation of the class of 2011 at Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls on January 14, 2012 in Henley on Klip, South Africa. (Photo by Michelly Rall/Getty Images)

Michelly Rall/Getty Images

Oprah Winfrey is an archive of successes. Her meteoric rise in a field that had previously been dominated by men is both inspiring and unbelievable. She has opened doors for not only women but African Americans as well. Oprah is still working towards even greater achievements, growing her legacy and keeping alive the belief that nothing is impossible.

“Create the highest, grandest vision possible for your life, because you become what you believe.” -Oprah Winfrey

Oprah has truly changed the world for good. We can’t wait to see how she inspires us even more in the future.

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