Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey

Timeline of Oprah Winfrey, a renowned American media executive, talk show host, actress, and philanthropist known for her influential talk show The Oprah Winfrey Show. Through her platform, she has become one of the most influential and respected figures in the entertainment industry, empowering millions with her messages of self-improvement and social awareness.


January 29, 1954


Kosciusko, Mississippi, United States


Media executive, talk show host, actress, author, and philanthropist


The Oprah Winfrey Show


Tennessee State University
<h2>Birth of Oprah Winfrey</h2>
29 January 1954

Birth of Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Gail Winfrey was born in Kosciusko, Mississippi, to an unmarried teenage mother. She overcame a difficult childhood to become one of the most influential media personalities.


14 August 1976

Co-Host of the Local Evening News on WJZ-TV 

Winfrey moved to Baltimore's WJZ-TV in August 1976 to co-anchor the six o'clock news in Nashville, Tennessee. She was removed as co-anchor within the first year but stayed at the station as a reporter and later became the host of a local talk show, 'People Are Talking'.

18 December 1985

The Color Purple Film Release

Oprah Winfrey's film debut occurred with the release of 'The Color Purple,' directed by Steven Spielberg, in which she played a significant supporting role as Sofia. The film was an adaptation of Alice Walker's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name.

24 March 1986

Oscar Nomination

Oprah Winfrey received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress for her role in 'The Color Purple' at the 58th Academy Awards. This nomination underscored her powerful performance in her first film role.

08 September 1986

The Oprah Winfrey Show Launch

The Oprah Winfrey Show launched nationally on September 8, 1986, and ran for 25 seasons until May 25, 2011. It became one of the most-watched and influential talk shows on American television.

15 January 1988

Founding of Harpo Productions

Oprah Winfrey established Harpo Productions, a media production company, to produce the content for her media ventures, eventually expanding into film production and magazine publishing.

10 February 1993

Interviewed Michael Jackson

Winfrey conducted a televised interview with Michael Jackson on February 10, 1993. This interview became the fourth most-watched event in American television history and the most-watched interview ever, with an audience of 36.5 million.

02 January 2007

Oprah's Leadership Academy for Girls

Oprah Winfrey opened the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa on January 2, 2007. The school was founded to provide educational and leadership opportunities for underprivileged girls in South Africa.

01 January 2011

Launch of OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network

After The Oprah Winfrey Show ended, Winfrey shifted focus to her cable channel, the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), which launched on January 1, 2011. She took on a role as chief executive officer and chief creative officer in October of that year.

25 May 2011

End of The Oprah Winfrey Show

The Oprah Winfrey Show aired its final episode on May 25, 2011, after 25 years of broadcast. The show's conclusion marked the end of its influential run and a significant moment in television history.

20 November 2013

Awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom

Oprah Winfrey was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama on November 20, 2013. This honor is the United States' highest civilian honor and was presented for her contributions to her country.

07 January 2018

Receiving the Golden Globes Cecil B. DeMille Award

Oprah Winfrey received the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the 75th Golden Globe Awards on January 7, 2018, for her outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment. Her acceptance speech, addressing the #MeToo movement and racial inequality, was widely praised.

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