Oprah Winfrey rose from poverty and a troubled youth to become the most powerful and influential woman in television and, according to Forbes Magazine, the world's most highly paid entertainer. Though primarily recognized as a talk show hostess, Winfrey also produces and occasionally acts in television movies and feature films.
Winfrey's parents, who never married, were teens when she was born in rural Mississippi. She was originally named Orpah after a woman from the Book of Ruth but a spelling mistake on the birth certificate changed it to Oprah. She spent her childhood growing up in abject poverty on her deeply religious grandmother's farm. When she was older, Winfrey moved in with her mother in Milwaukee, WI. This proved a difficult time as Winfrey alleges she was repeatedly sexually molested by male relatives. Winfrey became a bit of a wild child during her early teens, experimenting with sex and drugs until the age of 14 when she gave birth to a premature baby. It died shortly after, and upon recovering, Winfrey chose to live with her father in Nashville. It was under his stern guidance that Winfrey found discipline, stability, and the inspiration to excel in school and change her life.