Who has not heard about Oprah Winfrey or her famous talk show The Oprah Winfrey show? Regardless of whether you are on Oprah fan or not, at least once in your lifetime, you would have heard of Oprah Winfrey, known all over the world for her talk show and her philanthropic activities. She has been named “Queen of All Media” and she is the greatest black philanthropist in American history. Did you ever wish that you would benefit from her philanthropy? The world needs more people like her. If you’re an Oprah fan and you think you know all about her, then we’re hoping we can surprise you with some unknown facts about her. So, here are 10 things you never knew about Oprah Winfrey:
#1 Did you know that she was named “Orpah” by her mother after a character from the Bible in the Book of Ruth? However, since many people mispronounced her name so she ended up sticking to “Oprah”.
#2 Before starting her own talk show, she was co-hosting with Richard Sher, WJZ’s local talk show People Are Talking.
#3 As well as hosting and appearing on television shows, Winfrey co-founded the women’s cable television network Oxygen. She is also the president of Harpo Productions (Oprah spelled backwards). In January 2008, Oprah and Discovery Communications announced plans to change Discovery Health Channel into a new channel called OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network which was launched in January 2011.
#4 In 2005, an Hermès store in Paris refused to let Oprah inside the store after closing hours even though sometimes stores make exceptions for celebrities. Later Hermès apologised for their blunder saying that they regret not having been able to welcome Oprah and the people accompanying her to give them all the attention and service that Hermès is committed to giving each of its clients in the world.
#5 Oprah won a full scholarship to the Tennessee State University, where she majored in Speech Communications and Performing Arts.
#6 At the age of 17, Oprah won the Miss Black Tennessee beauty pageant. A perfect epitome of beauty with brains.
#7 In 1993, Oprah was also instrumental in getting the National Child Protection Act, often called the Oprah Bill because of her staunch support of getting the bill signed into law. The Act provides for the creation of a national database of child abusers which would enable parents to know that their children’s caregivers are not criminals or child abusers.
#8 Oprah is also a member of the National Women’s Hall of Fame in Senneca, New York. The National Women’s Hall of Fame is America’s oldest membership organization dedicated to honoring and celebrating the achievements of distinguished American women. While it’s not surprising that Oprah should be in the Hall of Fame, it is surprising that she was inducted in 1994 long before she became as powerful as she is today. But even then she was quite the powerhouse. Who else would have been able to gather so much support as to convince the President to sign a Bill into a law?
#9 The Wall Street Journal coined the term “Oprahfication”, meaning the perceived increase in people’s desire to discuss their emotions or personal problems, attributed to the influence of confessional television programmes. Not only does she have a law named after her but also a new word..how amazing is that!!
#10 Oprah withdrew her eligibility for the Emmy Awards after winning the Lifetime Achievement Award in 1998. Prior to that, Oprah regularly nabbed the Emmy for Outstanding Daytime Variety Show (talk show) for her show The Oprah Winfrey Show.