Rags to riches story of Oprah Winfrey

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Oprah Winfrey is well-known to the world as one of the self-made women in the world. But the struggle she had to endure to reach the great heights of success was not easy.

She was born in a poverty stricken family in Mississippi to an unwed teenage mother. She wore potato sacks because clothing did not fit into her family’s budget. She spent first few years of her life with her grandmother while her mother searched for work.

At the age of 6, she was sent to live with her mother owing to her grandmother’s poor health. There, she lived among extreme poverty and was subjected to physical and sexual abuse for many years. She was raped by her cousin at the age of 9.

After suffering years of abuse, she went to stay with her father at the age of 14. She went to East Nashville School, where she became an honor student and was voted the “Most Popular” girl in her class. There, she discovered her passion for the media and worked for local black radio station. She left her college at a young age of 19 to pursue a career in media.

At the age of 20, she became the first black female news anchor and also landed a co-anchor position in Baltimore. But she was humiliated at her job and hence fired within seven months of joining. Afterwards, she landed the role of a host in the low rated talk show “AM Chicago”. Within few months as a host, the show became one of the top rated shows. It was later renamed as “The Oprah Winfrey Show” which went on to become the longest running shows of all times.

Apart from being the part of the top rated TV show, she was also a part of films, television series and plays. Also, she published her radio channel and magazine. She also owns a private jet, a large estate, farmhouse and vacation home. A Street in Chicago has been named after her. She also supports various charitable organizations.

Winfrey’s story serves as an inspiration for the people all over the world. Her story teaches that with positive approach towards life, everything is possible. Anyone can go from rags to riches if the determination to win is stronger than the fear of losing. Being thankful for what one has can be a blessing. The future can be bright only when there is positive attitude, learning from failure and being strong in the face of adversity.

 

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Indu Jayendran