Estimates of the wealth of Oprah Winfrey put it at around $2.5 billion. She is currently regarded as the richest self made woman in America and the world. But it did not come easy for her.
She was born in Mississippi to a poor family and raised by her single mother. During her teenage years she moved to Milwaukee. From her childhood to her teen years she experienced hardships. At age 9 she suffered sexual abuse. She gave birth to a child at the age of 14. The baby died at birth.
When she went to high school, Oprah found work at the local radio station. Before she was 20, she was already hosting the news in the area. As should be clear by now, the wealth of Oprah Winfrey did not come all at once. Unlike other celebrities or businessmen, she was not born with a silver spoon in her mouth.
Success at TV
Her style and talent landed her a job at WLS TV in 1983. She started hosting AM Chicago. After a few months, the show’s popularity soared. The show would be rechristened the Oprah Winfrey Show. By 1986 it was now being shown nationwide.
Although the program started as a tabloid style format, Winfrey’s sensibilities and style elevated it above other similarly formatted talk shows. She would set up her own company and the program would attain greater success.
By the mid 1990s, the wealth of Oprah Winfrey had grown. The show was being telecast worldwide. In addition, the format was changed. The focus shifted to self help, self improvement and spiritual matters.
By the age of 40, she was already a multimillionaire. The early 1990s saw her fortune rise to over $320 million. She was also included in Forbes’ magazine list as one of the richest women in the world.
For a time, she was the only African American to be included there. In fact she is the only African American woman to be included in the magazine every year beginning in 1995.
The wealth of Oprah Winfrey has been cited in other ways. Forbes declared that she was the only black multibillionaire from 2004-06. She was also the first black female to make a billion dollars in history. She is also the highest paid TV host in the US. Her earnings have been put at over $200 million a year.
Aside from her talk shows and influence, Winfrey is also known for her philanthropic works. She has given more than $300 million to various charitable groups. She has also used her program to make donations for various causes.
Her Oprah Angel Network was able to generate more than $11 million in donations from her viewers. Through these donations and her own money, several homes have been rebuilt in and around the area.
Aside from the figures, the wealth of Oprah Winfrey can be measured in other ways. Her political, social and spiritual views are followed worldwide and exert great influence. She is now considered a very powerful and influential figure.