Oprah Winfrey was born in Mississippi in 1954. Oprah's mother Vernita Lee moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin to seek employment; leaving Oprah to be raised by her grandmother on a farm in Kosciusko. On the farm had a variety of chores such as feeding the chickens and carrying water from the well to the house. Oprah's grandmother, Hattie Mae, was deeply religious, requiring Oprah to pray and read scriptures from the bible; thus giving Oprah the ability to read at age three. Hattie Mae was also a stern disciplinarian, giving Oprah whippings on a daily basis. (It's important to note that Oprah's relatives vehemently disputed those abuse claims). In 1960 when Oprah was six years old, she had moved to Milwaukee with her mother, whom had just secured a job as a maid making $50 a week. Oprah also had a new baby sister, whom her mother devoted much more attention due to her lighter skin tone. Vernita Lee eventually sent Oprah to Nashville to live with her step father, Vernon. Vernon and his wife Zelma welcome Oprah with open arms and provided structure in her life; making her read a book every week. A year later Vernita had another child, a baby boy. She moved Oprah back to Milwaukee. Vernita and her three children lived with her boyfriend in a two bedroom apartment. When Oprah was nine years old she was raped by a cousin. She was raped and molested by other family members while living in the apartment. Oprah attended Lincoln High School in 1968 in Milwaukee. A teacher named Gene Abrams recommended her for a scholarship program that placed her into a private white school. Oprah was transferred to Nicolet High School, she was the only black student there at the time. The other students would often invite Oprah into their homes. She was instantly popular amongst them....especially the boys. Eventually Oprah's promiscuous ways and teenage rebellion overwhelmed Vernita. She was sent back to Nashville to live with Vernon. Oprah eventually graduated from East Nashville High School where she was voted "Most popular girl." She went on to Tennessee State University where she majored in speech and drama. She also won several beauty pageant titles including: Miss fire Prevention, Miss black Nashville and Miss black Tennessee. In 1973 at the age of nineteen Oprah became the youngest person and the first African American to host the news in Nashville. In 1976 Oprah moved to Baltimore to co-host the 6 o'clock news. It was in Baltimore where she met her best friend, Gayle King. Later on, Oprah would co-host "People are Talking," with Richard Sher. Oprah would eventually be hired to host "A.M Chicago." In 1985 the show was renamed, "Oprah."
Oprah initiated the National Child Protection Act, which would eventually be signed into law by the then president, Bill Clinton. She also built The Leadership Academy for girls in South Africa. Oprah's Angel Network has raised over $80 million for grants and charitable projects around the world.