Oprah Winfrey was born in the extremely poor town of Kosciusko, Mississippi to an unwed teenage mother. She revealed that she was molested by various family members starting at the age of nine and at 14 became pregnant with a son who died shortly after birth. She was sent to live with her grandmother, who strongly encouraged Oprah's education.
With the support of her grandmother, Oprah quickly became an honor student, taking a deep interest in the media and radio. After winning a beauty pageant at 17, a local radio station hired Winfrey to report the news part time, and the rest is history.
The television host, actress, producer, and philanthropist has been ranked the richest African American of the 20th century, as well as the greatest black philanthropist in American history. - XFINITY Entertainment Staff
(Photo: George Burns/AP/OWN) The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.