Current Media Position:
Significance to the Media Industry:
Winfrey's personal struggles with her weight helped her connect with millions of Americans. She was never afraid to laugh at an old photo of herself sporting a grossly-outdated hairstyle or outfit.
Winfrey's Book Club and her "Favorite Things" shows could launch a best seller overnight. Don't forget her endorsement of Illinois Sen. Barack Obama helped put him into the White House.
Oprah Winfrey's Early Career:
She began anchoring the news at Nashville's WLAC (now WTVF) in 1973. She was a trailblazer in two ways -- not only was she just 19, she was also the first woman co-anchor in the city.
Winfrey moved to Baltimore's WJZ in 1976 to co-anchor the news and eventually take over the local show People Are Talking. She was 22.
Moving up to Chicago in 1984, Winfrey made AM Chicago on WLS number one almost immediately. That brought her own national show two years later.
Besides the stars, confessions and giveaways, Winfrey's program launched her business career. Her Harpo Productions has created movies and positioned her to take a risk by establishing OWN on what had been the Discovery Health Channel in 2011.
Her wealth is estimated to be more than $2 billion. Through her Angel Network, she has raised millions for charity.
She spent her childhood in Mississippi, and later Wisconsin and Tennessee. As a child, she lived in poverty, but managed to get an education and became Miss Black Tennessee.
Winfrey has had a long relationship with Stedman Graham. Her well-known best friend is Gayle King, who has had several roles at Winfrey's various media properties.
Her awards for personal achievement are countless. They span her work on television, film acting, philanthrophy and promotion of reading.