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Her Life’s Journey

Apr 19, 2004  •  Post A Comment

1954
* Born Jan. 29, in Kosciusko, Miss.
1970
* Begins broadcasting career when hired to read the news after school at local radio station.
1971
* Crowned Nashville’s Miss Fire Prevention. Enters Tennessee State University in Nashville.
* Wins Miss Black Tennessee pageant.
1973
* Becomes first female anchor and first black TV news anchor at Nashville’s WLAC-TV.
1976
* Joins Baltimore’s WJZ-TV as co-anchor on “Six o’Clock News.”
* Named co-host of “People Are Talking,” a live local morning talk show.
1984
* Debuts as host of WLS-TV’s “AM Chicago,” a live morning show.
* Within a year, the program is renamed “The Oprah Winfrey Show” and expanded to one hour.
1985
* Makes acting debut as Sofia in Steven Spielberg’s film “The Color Purple.”
1986
* Nominated for best supporting actress Oscar for “The Color Purple.” “The Oprah Winfrey Show” goes into national syndication.
1988
* Becomes full owner of her program; builds studio on Chicago’s near west side.
* Loses 67 pounds on a liquid diet.
1989
* Produces and stars in two-part telefilm “The Women of Brewster Place.”
1995
* First appearance on Forbes 400 list of wealthiest Americans; net worth reported as $340 million.
1996
* Introduces monthly on-air book club with “The Deep End of the Ocean” by Jacquelyn Mitchard.
1997
* Signs deal with ABC to produce six TV movies under the heading “Oprah Winfrey Presents.” TV Guide names her Television Performer of the Year. Launches Angel Network campaign to encourage viewers to do good works.
1998
* Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.
* Prevails in $10 million defamation suit brought by Texas cattle industry.
* Produces and stars in the feature film “Beloved.”
* Co-founds Oxygen Media.
* Time magazine names her one of The Most Important People of the Century.
2000
* Teams with Hearst to launch O, The Oprah Magazine.
* Oxygen Network debuts.
2001
* Announces creation of the daily syndicated series “Dr. Phil,” starring Dr. Phil McGraw, a regular guest on her show.
* Debut of unscripted Oxygen series “Oprah After the Show.”
2002
* Receives first Bob Hope Humanitarian Award at 54th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards.
* Suspends her book club.
* Launches ChristmasKindness, bringing gifts of clothes and food to orphanages and schools in South Africa.
2003
* Resumes book club with new format and emphasis on classics.
* Earns Association of American Publishers’ highest award, the AAP Honors.
* Ranked second (after Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton) among women Americans admire most in Gallup Poll.
* First appearance on Forbes billionaires list.
2004
* Tests new magazine, O at Home.
* Appears on International Best-Dressed List.
* Celebrates 50th birthday with bashes in Chicago, Los Angeles and Montecito, Calif.
* Sixth “Oprah Winfrey Presents” telefilm with ABC, “Their Eyes Were Watching God,” starring Halle Berry, goes into production.