Black Media Mogul: Oprah Winfrey

Photo: Oprah Winfrey on the U.S. Presidential campaign trail
with Chicagoans Barack and Michelle Obama

Originally named "Orpah" Gail Winfrey on January 29, 1954 in Mississippi, Ms. Winfrey would go on to become a leading television talk show host, film actress, producer and philanthropist. She is the first Black woman and only the third woman in history, behind Mary Pickford and Lucille Ball, to own a film production studio. Harpo Studios, located in Chicago, serves as a testament to Winfrey's historic legacy.


Photo: Harpo Studios is located on the Westside of Chicago, Illinois
at 1058 W. Washington Boulevard

Entrance way into The Oprah Winfrey Show in Chicago
on the production campus of Harpo Studios

The building structure that now houses the Harpo Studio production facilities was originally built in the early 1900s. In 1952 the 88,000 square foot complex was converted into a production studio. In 1988, Winfrey purchased it and completely renovated it into a state-of-the-art, Hollywood-quality film production and post-production facility.

Trailblazing Black Media Professional

The Oprah Winfrey show began with a record-breaking launch in more than 130 markets in September 1986. She was the first Black woman to host a nationally syndicated talk show in the United States. It is currently seen in more than 99% of the country and in more than 100 foreign markets by millions of viewers. The studio receives several thousand letters weekly from fans around the globe.


Photo: O, The Oprah Magazine

In addition to producing a monthly print magazine, "O, The Oprah Magazine," Oprah has committed herself to bringing high quality production to both the big and little screen. Harpo Studios produces "The Oprah Winfrey Show" and has produced movie productions. This includes the ABC Theater Presentation of "There Are No Children Here" (1993), and the mini-series "The Women of Brewster Place" (1989), based on the book by author Gloria Naylor. In 2005, the television film movie "There Eyes Were Watching God," based on the book of the same name by American anthropologist, writer, and folklorist Zora Neale Hurston, was also produced by Harpo Studios.

Photo: Oprah Gaile Winfrey (born January 29, 1954) at her
50th birthday party at Hotel Bel-Air, Los Angeles (2004)

Championing Education Among Black South Africans

In January 2007, Winfrey investment of time and $40 million resulted in the opening of the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls near Johannesburg, South Africa. At the boarding school's opening, Nelson Mandela praised Winfrey for investing in the future of South Africa. Oprah was born in poverty in rural Mississippi. Nelson Mandela praised Winfrey for overcoming her challenging conditions and growing to be of service to others.


1 comment:

  1. Hello,American media mogul,television host,actress,maker, and giver,Oprah Winfrey has a total assets of $2.9 billion making her the wealthiest African-American, and a standout amongst the most lucrative brands in the world.Winfrey tops the 2009 inaugural Forbes rundown of the Wealthiest Black American.She is the main African-American extremely rich person on the Forbes 2011 rundown of tycoons.Thank you.
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