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How Did Oprah Get Rich?

Oprah Winfrey was bound to have an encouraging life story considering her difficult path. Born in Mississippi and raised by her single mother, Oprah had a rough childhood that included abuse and poverty. However, this didn’t stop Oprah from graduating magna cum laude from Tennessee State University before moving on to broadcast news at Nashville’s WTVF-TV and other news stations.

After becoming a talk show host for King World Productions and WLS-TV (Chicago) and co-hosting Good Morning America—two shows that helped put her name on the map—Oprah created one of the most successful talk shows ever: The Oprah Winfrey Show.

Born in 1954 in Kosciusko, Mississippi, Oprah Winfrey was the first of three girls and one boy. Her parents were poor, and her father was a part-time farmer; however, they were very religious and instilled their values in their children. As a result of these values, Oprah became interested in public speaking at an early age and one of the greatest entrepreneurs of our time.

When Oprah was still young, her mother had to work as a housekeeper to support the family because her husband could not find work. Her grandmother then took over raising Oprah while their mother worked and did other odd jobs around town.

Oprah could attend college thanks to scholarships she earned through being active with several clubs on campus where she studied speech communications, such as performing arts. Upon graduating from college, she landed an internship with the WJZ radio station, which eventually led to announcing news segments there before moving onto KMBC TV Channel 9, where she began hosting A Current Affair (ACAF).

How Oprah Made Her Money

The Oprah Winfrey Show

The Oprah Winfrey Show ran for 25 seasons and was among the most viewed shows then. She was paid $315 million annually to host the show, making her one of the highest-paid television personalities in history.

The show started as a half-hour weekly program on local Chicago TV station WLS-TV. As it grew in popularity, it was picked up by CBS and expanded to 90 minutes—then moved to syndication on September 8th, 1986, as The Oprah Winfrey Show full time with its own syndicated channel WWOR (now known as WFAN) serving as its home base. The show aired live Monday through Friday at 10:00 AM EST until 1998.

HARPO Studios

Oprah Winfrey is a media mogul, actress, and philanthropist. According to Forbes magazine, Oprah Winfrey is the most influential woman in the world.

Harpo Studios is a media company founded by Oprah Winfrey and her partner Stedman Graham. According to sources from Forbes magazine, Harpo has generated over $1 billion since its inception in1986, with profits reaching $100 million per year as of 2016 due to various income streams, including licensing agreements with Turner Broadcasting System (TBS) for the use of its content on OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network; production costs for shows such as “Oprah’s Next Chapter” which airs on OWN.

Advertising sales from magazines like O Magazine or digital properties like Oprah.com; brand extensions such as book publishing through Hyperion Books; licensing deals with partners such as Weight Watchers International Inc.; retail stores through “Oprah’s Book Club” imprint at Hachette Book Group USA Inc.; etc. are also income streams.

O Magazine & OWN Television

While Oprah Winfrey is the first African American woman to own her television network, she has made money in several other ways. The first was through the publication of O Magazine, which was launched in 2000 and is now published by Hearst Magazines.

In 2013, it had a circulation of 3 million copies per issue. Oprah Winfrey also owns an online magazine called Oprahdaily.com that offers advice on topics including spirituality, health, and relationships, as well as beauty tips and recipes for cooking healthy meals at home.

In addition to these ventures that generate revenue for her company Harpo Productions Inc., Ms. Winfrey also owns another business called OWN Television which has been valued at more than $180 million since its founding in 2011. OWN features shows about lifestyle, relationships, health, and fitness, as well as documentaries about social issues affecting people worldwide.

With such a huge platform under her belt, Oprah has the opportunity to continue growing her fortune. She is involved from start to finish as an executive producer and investor, working with Discovery on the channel’s programming decisions and marketing plans.


Oprah Winfrey is a billionaire who started with nothing. She has been a vital force in shaping the cultural landscape of America. Her stories and words have helped shape how we think about ourselves, our country, and the world at large. She has given voice to many people who would otherwise not be heard.

And she somehow manages to do all this while balancing her personal life. Through all these accomplishments, one thing stands out above all else: Oprah Winfrey is a hardworking and creative person with a powerful drive.

Jazmin Merriman
Team Writer: Jazmin Merriman is a writer, studying to become a Family and Marriage Therapist. She loves writing about minimalism, business, finances and lifestyle. She likes to inspire people to live a more intentional life by showing them what she does as an example.

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Team Writer: Jazmin Merriman is a writer, studying to become a Family and Marriage Therapist. She loves writing about minimalism, business, finances and lifestyle. She likes to inspire people to live a more intentional life by showing them what she does as an example.

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