Where Did Oprah Winfrey Go To College ?
Some know her as an extremely famous media personality, while others refer to her as the one of the most influential women in the world.
The richest African American of the 20th century, Oprah Gail Winfrey is an Academy Award nominated actress, producer, literary critic and magazine publisher. She is best known for her self titled multi-award wining talk show, which has become the highest rated program of its kind in history.
Oprah was on born to a single teenaged mother on January 29, 1954 in rural Mississippi. She was supposedly named ‘Orpah’ after the Biblical character in the Book of Ruth. In an interview with the Academy of Achievement, Winfrey explained that it was her family and friends' inability to pronounce her original name that lead to them putting the letter ‘p’ before the ‘r’. However, there is another story that claims that the midwife transposed letters while filling out the newborn's birth certificate.
Winfrey opened her eyes into poverty. She was raised in an inner city Milwaukee neighborhood. She experienced considerable hardship during her childhood in terms of being raped at the tender age of just 9 years. She also gave birth to a son at 14 years of age, whom she lost shortly after birth. Out of sheer frustration, her mother sent her to live with her father in Tennessee. A disturbed personal family life did not stop her from doing well in school and becoming the teacher's pet. She was only 13, when she received a scholarship to attend Nicolet High School in the Milwaukee suburb of Glendale, Wisconsin. Although, Oprah’s father was disciplinarian but he encouraged her to move ahead in life with the support of education.
Winfrey became an honors student and won many laurels such as winning the title of the Most Popular Girl, securing the second position in the nation in dramatic interpretation as part of the high school speech team at East Nashville High School and also winning an oratory contest that secured her full scholarship to Tennessee State University to study communication. Winfrey also won the Miss Black Tennessee beauty pageant, which brought her into limelight. She caught the attention of the local black radio station, WVOL, which hired her to do the part time news. She worked there during her senior year of high school and again while in her first two years of college. She was supposed to graduate in 1975 but left when she was one credit short as she had already got a job. In 1987, Oprah was asked to give a commencement address at Tennessee University. However, she did not oblige owing to the fact that she had never graduated. Later, she completed her graduation by doing the coursework to earn one credit.
Early in life, Oprah was very clear about pursuing her career in broadcasting. As a freshman in college, she was twice offered a job by the Nashville CBS affiliate. Initially, Winfrey refused both proposals. Later, she decided to give it a try on the advice of a speech teacher. At just the age of 19 and still a college sophomore, Winfrey landed a job in radio and began co-anchoring the local evening news. Her emotional ad-lib delivery helped her bag the daytime talk show arena and after boosting a third-rated local Chicago talk show to first place, she launched her own production company that finally led her towards international acclaim.
Many believe that Winfrey has a magical touch that could turn dull programs into appealing shows with solid ratings. One thing is certain, that she has revolutionized the mass media by creating a more intimate confessional form of media communication.
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