Oprah Winfrey

Biography project for Mrs. Hemry's 8th grade Language Arts class made by Valerie W.

Oprah Winfrey was born on January 29, 1954 in Kosciusko, Mississippi and is still alive today.

Significant Events in History that Affected Oprah's Life

  • The local cotton mill shut down and out thousands of people out of work including her mother.

Oprah's Childhood

As a child Oprah was left to live with her grandparents because her mother, Vernita Lee didn't have a job or the money to take of her so her mother left her and moved up to Milwaukee.  When she was 6 years old her grandparents decided they couldn't take care of an energetic child, so they sent her to live with her mother.  After 2 years her dad was going to take custody of Oprah. During the battle she was put in the care of her 19 year old cousin. While in his care he had raped her at 9 years old. Her uncle and her mom's boyfriend continued to molest Oprah. She kept it a secret until she was 14 and went to live with her father Vernon Winfrey. They later found out Oprah was pregnant, the baby died soon after birth.

Family Members Important to Oprah's Life

  • Vernon Winfrey (father), helped her through hard times and has always supported her.
  • Great aunt Ida gave Oprah her name.
  • Earless, and Hattie Lee (grandparents mothers side), raised her until she was 6 years old.
  • Zelma Winfrey (stepmother), helped Oprah learn multiplication and has always supported her.

Unique Facts

  • Oprah had to gain weight to be in the movie "The Color Purple."
  • She lived with her grandparents as a child.
  • Oprah could read and write before she was in kindergarten.
  • Wealthiest women in America.
  • Molested as a child by male relatives and friends of her mothers.


  • She played in " The Color Purple" which was nominated for 11 academy award categories.
  • First public speaking event was at church in 1957 giving a recitation of the story of Jesus at age of 3.
  • Met president Richard Nixon at the White House Conference on youth.
  • She has been in 35 movies/ shows including her talk show.
  • Was voted student government president and most popular girl in college.
  • Oprah is always helping others, she has donated more money to charity than any other celebrity.   

The Theme of Oprah's life is....

Oprah Winfrey has helped many people through problems which she has been faced with before, good comes from bad.

Oprah's words of advice and what she taught me....

"The big secret in life is that there is no big secret. Whatever your goal, you can get there if you're willing to work."

"I do not believe in failure. It is not failure if you enjoyed the process."

Oprah taught me that you must work for what you want in life and failure doesn't exists. She also taught me that i should never give up, and be honest with my feelings, if I problem I should face it.  

Works Cited

"Oprah's The Life You Want Weekend." Oprah.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Mar. 2015.

"Oprah Winfrey Biography: Life and Career." YouTube. YouTube, n.d. Web. 05 Mar. 2015.

"1988 Oprah Interview 2 of 3." YouTube. YouTube, n.d. Web. 06 Mar. 2015.

"Oprah Confesses." YouTube. YouTube, n.d. Web. 06 Mar. 2015.

"TIME Magazine Cover: Oprah Winfrey - Oct. 5, 1998." Time. Time Inc., n.d. Web. 07 Mar. 2015.

"Pics For Oprah Winfrey Quotes On Dreams." Pics For Oprah Winfrey Quotes On Dreams. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Mar. 2015.

Comment Stream

2 years ago

Great Tackk! Have you seen the movie The Color Purple? It is an amazing movie!