(Slideshow) Oprah Winfrey: The World’s Most Influential Woman

(Slideshow) Oprah Winfrey: The World’s Most Influential Woman


1The Quintuple Threat

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Oprah Winfrey is an American media proprietor, talk show host, actress, producer, and philanthropist. She is best known for her award-winning talk show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, which was the highest-rated programme of its kind in history. Her interview with Michael Jackson was the fourth most watched American TV event, with 36.5 million viewers.

Winfrey has been ranked the richest African-American of the 20th century. She is the only person in the world to have appeared in the Times list of ‘the 100 people who most influenced the 20th century’ every year from 2004-2011.

2Many business pies

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As well as hosting and appearing on television shows, Winfrey co-founded the women’s cable television network Oxygen. She is also the president of Harpo Productions which, together with Discovery Communications, produces the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), a general entertainment television channel. It launched on 1 January 2011 into 80 million homes.

3The Oprah Winfrey O magazine

The O magazine

Winfrey is also involved in publishing, including magazines such as O, The Oprah Magazine and, for a four-year-period, she published a magazine called O at Home. In 2002, Fortune called O, the Oprah Magazine the most successful start-up ever in the industry. Winfrey has also co-authored five books.

4Dominating all media

On the airwaves too

In 2006, Winfrey signed a $55 million contract to establish a new radio channel. The channel, Oprah Radio, features popular contributors to The Oprah Winfrey Show and O, The Oprah Magazine.

5Oprah’s Angel Network

Oprah’s Angel Network logo

In 1998 Winfrey created the Oprah’s Angel Network, a charity that supported charitable projects and provided grants to non-profit organisations around the world. The charity, which raised more than $80 000 000, was dissolved to coincide with the ending of The Oprah Winfrey Show. However, Oprah’s new cable network, OWN, continues to highlight charitable organisations. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, Oprah created the Oprah Angel Network Katrina registry, which raised more than $11 million for relief efforts.

6Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls

Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls

Winfrey invested $40 million and some of her time establishing the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in Henley on Klip, south of Johannesburg, South Africa. The school opened in January 2007 with an enrolment of 150 pupils (increasing to 450) and features state-of-the-art classrooms, computer and science laboratories, a library, theatre and beauty salon.


7Next Slideshow: Strength of a Woman

Alison Job
Alison Job holds a BA English, Communications and has extensive experience in writing that spans news broadcasting, public relations and corporate and consumer publishing. Find her at Google+.