Looking at the power, wealth and philanthropy that is Oprah Winfrey's life now, it's nearly impossible to imagine the difficult childhood that shaped her larger-than-life persona. She overcame long odds to become arguably the most influential woman entrepreneur in history.
Oprah's rise began at the age of 17, when she became the 1972 Miss Black Tennessee. That opened the door to a career in broadcasting, a full scholarship to Tennessee State and an anchor position at a local TV station.
She got her first talk show in 1976, and the genre propelled her not only to stardom -- she is loved by millions of people. In 1986, she founded Harpo Communications and bought the rights to the Oprah Winfrey Show, proceeding to become the wealthiest self-made woman in the country.
Successful actress, activist, broadcaster, producer, media mogul and all-around star, Oprah takes the entrepreneurial Gold.
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