When she was 13 years old, Oprah Winfrey ran away from home to escape the sexual abuse she suffered from male relatives while her single mother was out at work. As a result, she was sent to a juvenile detention home, only to be denied admission because the beds were full.
By age 14 she was on her own, an unstable, sexually promiscuous and pregnant teenager. Life got worse when her baby boy died in infancy.
Things began to turn around when she started living with her father, Vernon Winfrey. A strict disciplinarian, he gave his daughter the secure home life she needed.
At age 17, Oprah Winfrey won the Miss Black Tennessee beauty pageant and was offered a job at a radio station serving the African American community in Nashville. She also won a scholarship to Tennessee State University, where she majored in Speech Communications and Performing arts. She rose to become one of the most wealthy and influential broadcasters in the US. Forbes’ international rich list reveals Winfrey to be the first black woman billionaire in world history. Worth $2.7 billion, she is also the richest self-made woman in America.
“Getting the right supportive environment, along with a big dose of determination really can take you anywhere. Despite all her earlier difficulties, she persevered. Thanks to her strength and her dad’s guidance, she overcame it all.” – Bernardo Moya
“Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher.”