12 Oprah Winfrey’s Fascinating Facts You Never Knew About

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Media mogul and megastar Oprah Winfrey is one of the world’s most successful and influential celebrities. She was recognised as the richest African-American woman of the 20th century and, with a net worth of around $2.8 billion, there’s a high chance she’ll end up the 21st century’s richest African-American woman as well. Her speech at the 2018 Golden Globes even had some calling for Oprah to run for President of the United States, though she’s since ruled out a run. Here are some lesser-known facts about her.

  1. She is the first black woman ever to become a billionaire

via Pandagossips

2. She was born into poverty and her family were so poor that she didn’t have her own pair of shoes until she was six years old

via Oprah

3. Before hitting the big time with her show, she was actually fired from her first TV job and told she was ‘unfit for TV’

via Hollywoodreporter

4. Her name was initially listed as ‘Orpah’ on her birth certificate – this was a biblical reference chosen by her aunt. However, due to confusion over how to pronounce the name, it got changed to ‘Oprah’

via Vox

5. Her 2005 weight loss book earned an undisclosed advance fee that was the biggest ever at the time – it broke the record previously held by former President Bill Clinton for his memoirs

via Womansworld

6. For her role of former slave Sethe in Beloved, she arranged to be tied up, blindfolded and abandoned in the woods so she could experience the sorts of hardships slaves had to go through

via Thehindu

7. She received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 1998 Daytime Emmys and subsequently ruled herself out of receiving any further awards, questioning what point there was to any awards received afterwards

via Gc4women

8. For her 51st birthday, she celebrated by getting her ears pierced

via Oprah

9. She was the first African-American TV star to appear on the cover of the American Vogue back in 1998,with editor Anna Wintour telling her she needed to lose 20lbs to look better on it

via Vogue

10. When she was 14, she gave birth to a baby boy, who sadly passed away in his infancy

via Businessinsider

11. She won the Miss Black Tennessee beauty pageant when she was 17

via Prezi

12. Her endorsement of Barack Obama is believed to have added a million votes to the vote for him to become the Democratic Party’s nominee for President, resulting in his win over fellow candidate Hillary Clinton

via Usmagazine