Top 10 Lesser Known Facts about Oprah Winfrey

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Ok so you think you are a diehard fan of Oprah Winfrey right? You know everything about her that she was born on 29th January 1954 in Kosciusko, Mississippi, she was sexually abused and raped by her close family members and relatives, a teenage mother herself she went on to host a talk show and became the most popular women in America as well as the whole world also featuring as the 9th Greatest American. But what’s the big deal in that? I mean everyone in the world knows it there is nothing cool or special about it. So for all you fans and admirers of Oprah Winfrey reading this, I bring to you the facts that are mostly unknown about Oprah and I bet you will not know many of them, so read on to find out the top 10 lesser known facts about Oprah

10. Friends

Everyone has a friend in their life so does Oprah, but some friends are more close than the rest whom we believe in and share all our secrets. These are the one who supports us in all the tough situations being with us all the while laughing with us in the happy time and sharing out grief during the moments of sorrow.  So even Oprah has some like that and they are Ellen DeGeneres, Gayle King, and Maria Shriver mostly unknown to the world but what is more interesting is that Gayle King is her bestie and rumour has it Oprah and Gayle are more than just friends but Oprah has denied these rumours.

9. Real Name

We all know Oprah Winfrey as “Oprah” but none other than her friends and family are aware of the fact that it was not her real name, so what is it? Oprah Gail Winfrey you guess but sorry it’s not that, she is Orpah, on her birth certificate and it is a biblical name. Oprah’s mother gave her this name but as her family found it hard to pronounce the “r” before “p” she was called as Oprah and it struck. Now with so many tongues tied Orpah became Oprah and she never complained about it and readily accepted her new name. Even to this date the name “Orpah” remains on her birth certificate but the entire world knows her as Oprah, Oprah Gail Winfrey of course.

8. Worst fear

If we really know Oprah we will respect her but when we get to hear the hardships and struggles she faced as a child our respect will grow two fold. Having known her history we are sure to believe she might have turned into a tough woman with nothing to fear having witnessed the worst that anyone can imagine, but it’s not the case as Oprah just like others do have a worst fear. The world never saw her chewing a gum anytime, did we? Long back when she was a child the time when fear starts in people she developed this chewing gum phobia and to this date it remains her worst fear.

7. Her 1st movie got 11 Oscar Nominations

We all know Oprah as a day time talk show host, a philanthropist and one of the most influential women of the world, but there is another side of her she is also an actress having essayed roles in The Color Purple, Native Son and Beloved this may not be new to all having known that earlier but what many people are unaware of is that her 1st movie “The color Purple” got a total of 11 Oscar nominations including a best supporting actress nomination for her. This was way back in 1985 so it faded in the memories of people and now mostly none knows about this. But as luck would have it even after 11 Oscar nominations her maiden movie failed to win even one award.

6. Was a Juror

How many celebrities would you find donning the hat of a juror and conducting a trail for 1st degree murder accused? Well Oprah Winfrey did the same thing, she was one of the 12 jurors who found 27-year-old, Dion Coleman accused of shooting and killing 23-year old Walter Holley guilty in 1995, he was later sentenced in September 1995. This trail turned out into a media frenzy affair after the involvement of the already famous Oprah Winfrey. She was paid $17.20 a day to carry out her civic duty and Oprah later did a show about the trail the following week with the other jurors.

5. Won 1971 Miss Black Tennessee beauty pageant

Even though Oprah was not born with a silver spoon in her mouth she never gave up her studies because of the hardships and she was very much attached to her books. She was an honors student who was so bright that she won a scholarship and majored in communications in Tennessee State University.  During her university days in the senior class she was voted “Most Popular Student” and in 1971 Oprah Winfrey won Miss Fire Prevention and also Miss Black Tennessee beauty pageant.

4. Has a book club

Reading and making our friends and family read the same book if it is good is quite normal these days but making the whole world read it is quite impossible except if the person we are talking about is Oprah Winfrey. We all know celebrities and books mostly don’t go hand in hand and they are inversely proportional but the book club Oprah started way back in 1996 is quite an exception. This book club recommended around 70 books to date and got the whole world reading again, this club and its popularity spurred around 30 million books sales only by its recommendation.

3. Her 1st Talk Show

Many of us know Oprah Winfrey as the most popular highest rated day time talk show host of the famous “The Oprah Winfrey Show”. But she started her career as the first black female news anchor at Nashville’s WLAC-TV then moved on from there to become a reporter for the CBS television station, in Baltimore, Maryland and was fired shortly as she was not so good at it. Later her boss set her up as a host for a talk show “People Are Talking” which was her first talk show and 7 years later she was hosting “The Oprah Winfrey Show” and went on to become the most successful talk show anchor of the world.

2. The Oprah Bill

Don’t be baffled to know that there is even a bill named after Oprah Winfrey. In 1991, Oprah took her personal case as an example and stood for all the girls of her country and made their voices heard at a bigger level that is the Capital Hill. Speaking in support and testifying her own ordeal to the Senate she said “I am speaking out on behalf of the children who wish to be heard, but whose cries, wishes and hopes often, I believe, fall upon deaf or inattentive ears,” . Due to her staunch support and relentless work in getting the bill signed into a law the “National Child Protection Act” is also called as ”The Oprah Bill”.

1. Not the richest black women anymore

Oprah was named as the first African American women billionaire in 2003 according to Forbes. Since then she remains the only black women in the world to feature in the list, not until 2013 when Forbes named Isabel Dos Santos as a new entry to the list of black women billionaire with a net worth of $ 1.3 to $ 1.6 billion. But hold on Oprah with a net worth of $ 2.9 billion still topped the “Forbes list of Richest Black Women Billionaires-2013”, but the least known fact about Oprah Winfrey is that now on this date she is no longer the richest black women in the world, because Nigerian Oil Tycoon Folorunsho Alakija unseated her from the top position with a net worth and an estimated fortune of about $ 7.b billion.

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