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The life of Oprah Winfrey, the 64 years old media mogul worth $2.9 billion

Oprah Winfrey is a media mogul, an actress, and a philanthropist, with an estimated net worth of about $2.9 billion. She grew up poor and had a difficult childhood. We’ve collected the highlights of her remarkable life and career, from her first job as a talk show host to the launch of her own cable channel.

Oprah Winfrey, 64 years old, is a media mogul, a celebrated actress, and a philanthropist. Forbes estimates that her net worth is about $2.9 billion.

Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

Source: Forbes

Winfrey was also ranked sixth on Forbes’ list of America’s richest self-made women, and is the only African-American woman on Forbes’ 2018 billionaire list.

Winfrey was also ranked sixth on Forbes' list of America's richest self-made women, and is the only African-American woman on Forbes' 2018 billionaire list.

Kevin Winter/Getty Images for NAACP Image Awards

Source: Forbes, ForbesBusiness Insider

Winfrey endured a turbulent childhood. She spent her early years on her grandmother’s farm, in Kosciusko, Mississippi. At age six, she went to live with her mother in Milwaukee; while her mother was away at work, Winfrey was molested multiple times by people including relatives.

Winfrey endured a turbulent childhood. She spent her early years on her grandmother's farm, in Kosciusko, Mississippi. At age six, she went to live with her mother in Milwaukee; while her mother was away at work, Winfrey was molested multiple times by people including relatives.

Paras Griffin/Getty Images

Source: Academy of Achievement

As a teenager, Winfrey moved in with her father, Vernon Winfrey, who imposed strict discipline. Winfrey became an honor student.

As a teenager, Winfrey moved in with her father, Vernon Winfrey, who imposed strict discipline. Winfrey became an honor student.

Leon Bennett/Getty

Source: Academy of Achievement

Winfrey’s first media job was at a radio station for the African American community in Nashville, making her the first black female news anchor in the city.

Source: Business Insider

She dropped out of college at Tennessee State University to work at a local television station, then moved to Baltimore to co-host her first talk show, “People are Talking.” During that time, Winfrey has said, she was sexually harassed, and was fired as co-anchor after just 7.5 months.

Source: Academy of Achievement, Daily Worth

Winfrey was instead placed on a local talk show, interviewing celebrities. “I felt like this is what I’m supposed to do. All these years I’d been misplaced in news because I couldn’t relate,” Winfrey said on “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” “The moment I did that talk-show I felt like, ‘Oh, I can be myself’ and … that was the beginning of fulfilling the calling.”

Source: CNBC, Oprah Winfrey Network

Her next gig was in Chicago, where she revamped a morning show that was struggling. In September 1985, the program was renamed “The Oprah Winfrey Show.”

Source: Academy of Achievement

Winfrey’s acting career began in 1985, when she appeared in “The Color Purple.” She was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.

Winfrey's acting career began in 1985, when she appeared in "The Color Purple." She was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.

Amblin Entertainment

Source: IMDB

By the time Winfrey was 32, “The Oprah Winfrey Show” was syndicated on national television.

By the time Winfrey was 32, "The Oprah Winfrey Show" was syndicated on national television.

Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images

Source: Business Insider

In 1988, Oprah launched her own production company, Harpo Productions. (“Harpo” is “Oprah” spelled backwards.) She also negotiated ownership of “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” which raked in $300 million a year at its peak.

In 1988, Oprah launched her own production company, Harpo Productions. ("Harpo" is "Oprah" spelled backwards.) She also negotiated ownership of "The Oprah Winfrey Show," which raked in $300 million a year at its peak.

REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Source: The Telegraph, Business Insider

In the mid-90s, Winfrey shifted her focus on “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” Every episode had to be what she considered a “force for good,” highlighting topics like spirituality and raising kids. At first, ratings dipped, but this was Winfrey’s way of differentiating herself from all the other talk shows that had sprouted up. “You can only run your own race,” she said on the “Making Oprah” podcast.

 

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