Oprah Winfrey, Harpo – Biography, Achievements & Most Admired Entrepreneur
Oprah Winfrey is one of the most recognisable faces on TV today. She has been such for some time, but recently the entrepreneur was recognised as one of the most powerful women in the world. Given her humble beginnings, her likeable personality and her philanthropic interests, she is certainly a beloved figure in America. However, she is also an esteemed entrepreneur who could certainly provide an amazing example for budding entrepreneurs, male and female alike, from all over the world.
Oprah’s past is well documented as she has been extremely candid about her childhood and the motivation she has derived from those dark days. Her mother and father were both teenagers when she was born on January 29, 1954 in an impoverished part of Mississippi. Living hand to mouth, Oprah Winfrey grew up in abject poverty. She also experienced a horrendous rape at the tender age of 9. However, she was not to escape the area until the age of 14, when she was sent to Tennessee to live with her father after giving birth to an infant who lived only a few days.
It was in Tennessee that the entrepreneur received her first break. Determined that his daughter would do better than her mother had, her father made her education a priority. Although she attended Tennessee State University, Oprah already had a spot as an anchor on the local news at the age of 19. It was to be the first of many such roles that would ultimately lead to the conception of The Oprah Winfrey Show.
Oprah As A Media Mogul
In January 1984, The Oprah Winfrey Show hit the airwaves and quickly became a massive hit amongst old and young alike. Oprah soon became a household name in Chicago, where the show was originally aired, and then on a national level when it went nationwide in 1986. This makes it one of the longest running shows on TV at the moment.
Her very own production company facilitated the nationwide broadcast of Oprah’s show. After realising what a success she could have as a producer as well as host, the entrepreneur established Harpo Productions. It has since been a vehicle for a number of Oprah’s ventures, including the Rachael Ray Show and the 1998 film adaptation of Beloved, in which Oprah also starred. She has starred in a number of films but her popularity still relates back to her show.
Oprah added another achievement to her entrepreneurial portfolio in terms of her magazine distribution. Her two publications, O: The Oprah Magazine and O At Home are bought throughout the USA, and her five books to date have also achieved a measure of success.
With a fortune of $2.5 billion as of 2008, Oprah has well and truly made it as an entrepreneur. Harpo Productions will undoubtedly continue to keep her show on TV for as long as she desires because she has a permanent place in the hearts of people all around the world. Her unwillingness to let her childhood affect her has driven her to great success and she is an inspiration as a result of that. In terms of her entrepreneurial skills though, many an entrepreneur could learn a thing or two about marketing and image from her!