May 21, 2016 03:11 AM EDT

Oprah Winfrey Story: Rags To Riches, Failure To Fame

Born January 29, 1954. She was a daughter to a single mother in rural Mississippi living in poverty, wearing dresses made out of potato sacks. She was molested as a child and teenager and was pregnant at 14. She'd lost her son in infancy and was sent off to live with a barber in Tennessee. A man she calls her father.

At 19, Oprah landed a job in radio while in high school and co-anchored the local evening news. At the age of 22, she was fired from her job as a television reporter on the 6 o'clock weekday news on Baltimore's WJZ-TV after the show received poor ratings and had been labeled "unfit for TV". She recalls it as her "first and worst failure of her TV career."

Her fortune took a turn for the better when, with her emotional adlib delivery, she had joined daytime talk show. After having successfully boosted a local third rated Chicago talk show to first, she launched her production company and became internationally syndicated.

The Oprah Winfrey Show, nationally aired from 1986 to 2011, was the highest rated program of its kind in history. With the show came huge success. Now labeled as the "Queen of All Media", several assessed her to be the most influential woman in the world. Receiving honorary doctorate degrees from Duke and Harvard, she was also awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama in 2013.

The talk show host, producer and media proprietor was ranked the richest African-American of the 20th century being North America's first and only multi-billionaire black person as well as the greatest black philanthropist in American history.

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