How Oprah Became the First Black Woman Billionaire

Oprah Winfrey is a historic figure in the Black community. The ups and downs of her life journey has been documented, and almost 20 years later, her net worth is $3.5 billion.

She was born in the Jim Crow south into a poor family and experienced a lot of trauma all before the age of 18. 

At age 19 she set out to pursue her dreams of working in the media.
In 1973, she was hired at WLAC-TV in Nashville and became the youngest and first Black woman to anchor the news at that station. 

She also anchored in Baltimore and then eventually moved to Chicago. In 1984, she started hosting WLS-TV’s morning talk show, which later became the nationally syndicated
“The Oprah Winfrey Show."

The following year she created HARPO Productions and became the first Black woman to own such a large studio. For the next 25 yrs, “The Oprah Winfrey Show” was the highest rated talk show on TV.

Oprah also had legendary performances in blockbuster films “The Color Purple” and “Beloved.” 

With her impeccable journalism and ability to empathize with subject and audience, she was able to successfully monetize the trust she built with audiences around the world.

In the early 2000’s Oprah expanded her career, and her wallet, with business ventures like
“O, The Oprah Magazine.” 

In 2011 she founded “OWN,” the Oprah Winfrey Network. The network hosts popular shows like “Queen Sugar,” “Black Love,” and “The Have and the Have Nots.” 

Over time, Oprah has returned to the big screen with roles in “The Butler” and “Selma” and continues to make occasional acting appearances today. 

Oprah has an extensive philanthropic portfolio too. According to Celebrity Net Worth, she’s given over $400 million to charity and is the recipient of several humanitarian awards.


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