The Story of Oprah Winfrey

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  • 8/14/2019 The Story of Oprah Winfrey



    Beloved kancil students, Oprah Winfrey saga is one of the finest story of rags to richest.Every Kancil student, especially the girls, should emulate her life principles and attitudeto succeed in life.

    Early Childhood

    Born illegitimate to teenage parents in 1954, she spent her first six years living with her grandparents in

    her native Kosciusko, Miss. Eventually, she moved in with her mother in Milwaukee. At age 9, she wasraped by an older cousin and was then abused by other relatives during the next several years. Acting

    out, she became a wild child and got pregnant at 13. Her baby, born prematurely, died shortly after its

    birth. Rather than giving in to despair and failing further into a life of misery, Oprah refused to give up.

    She looked at what shed been through in her young life and decided shed dedicate herself to changing

    it. Life is a marathon, she decided; you dont want to win or lose at every turn. I think the ones who

    survive in life do it by hammering at it one day at a time, she said in Janet Lowes book, Oprah Winfrey

    speaks. Her mother sent her to her father, who was a barber and businessman in Nashville, Tenn. There,

    she focused on self-improvement.

    Fathers Inspiration

    Vernon Winfrey realized his daughter needed some inspiration. He told her how good she could be and

    encouraged her lifelong love of books. He also taught her that in order to succeed, she always had to

    pursue excellence. When Vernon set a goal, he focused totally on its achievement. To make sure hed

    get there, hed put in longer hours than anyone else and always tried to do his best. He refused to

    undermine himself by thinking about failure. His daughter absorbed that attitude. There is no such thing

    as failure in my life, Oprah said. I just dont believe in it. Vernon also taught her to reject fear. If she

    was afraid to try something, he told her, shed never know whether she could do it, and shed miss an



    She decided to concentrate on what she did best and landed a job as news reader at a Nasville television

    station in 1974. Once there, Winfrey followed her fathers example she put in long hours and prepared

    carefully before going on camera. Shed bone up on topics she knew shed be reading about so shed be

    ready if something happened to her notes. Her hard work paid off: She moved up swiftly to news reader

    and reporter in Baltimore and was offered to host her own talk show in 1977. To get the subjects of her

    interviews to open up to her on the show, Winfrey would look for a common bond. She knew she had a

    winning formula when Baltimore viewers told researchers that what they liked best about her show was

    how much they learned from it and could apply to their own lives. Winfrey looked for a bigger market to

    conquer and decided to go to Chicago in 1984. Network executives took note of her shows soaring

    success there and offered her a national spot. In 1986, she began broadcasting nationally. She reachespeople all over the world through syndication

    Personal Philosophy

    The true test of courage, Oprah said is to be afraid and to go ahead and do it anyway to be scared,

    to have your knees knocking, but to walk on there anyway. Thats exactly what she did. She told herself

    that shed find something she loved to do and then be the best at it. She knew she could

    present herself well and had a knack for talking with people. Shed been speaking in front of audiences

    since she was only 4 years old, touring local churches and reciting sermon of others by memory.

    Luck had nothing to do with her success, she thinks. I dont believe in luck, she said. I think luck is

    preparation meeting opportunity.

    When Winfrey doesnt know something, she doesnt try to bluff her way through it. She admits right

    upfront that shes uninformed and wants to learn about the topic.

  • 8/14/2019 The Story of Oprah Winfrey


    Take one of her first assignments as a reporter. She was told to cover a city council meeting but had no

    idea how to go about it. She could try to wing it, but if she missed something important, she would put her

    entire career in jeopardy. She decided to confront the problem head-on and ask others for their help. I

    walked into the city council meeting and announced to everybody there, This is my first day on the job,

    and I dont know anything. Please help me. And they did.Everybody needs someone to show them the

    way out or up. Winfrey constantly tries to catalog her strengths and weaknesses to find areas she can

    improve. When she hires people, Winfrey looks for people whom can do what she cant. I surround

    myself with people who are smarter than I am, she said. That way, I feel I can learn something. I think

    the ability to be as good as you can be comes from understanding who you are and what you can and

    cannot do, she said. And what you cant do is far more important than what you can do, if what you

    cant do is going to keep you from flying high.


    She has set up her foundation to help underpriviledged families get back on their feet and started one of

    the most influential informal book clubs in the world.

    Pinnacle of Success

    In 2003, Oprah Winfrey became the first African-American woman to join the ranks of billionaires.

    Moral of the Story

    Beloved Kancil students,

    Determination, the right attitude, willingness to learn new things, courage, long hours of hard

    work and honesty has made Oprah Winfrey what she is today. You too could do it your own way.

    1. Oprah Winfrey has gone through a painful childhood; in brief describe it from your very own



    2. What are her key principles in life?


    3. How has her father shaped her (Character) and attitude, towards life?


    4. What is the winning formula that has won hearts of millions people around the world which has

    helped maintain her talk show for over 2 decades?


    5. Prince / Princess in Kancil, would Oprah Winfrey be your role model? If yes, why? If no, why not?



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