Over the course of almost 30 years, Oprah Winfrey became one of the most recognizable and influential daytime talk show hosts in the United States. Winfrey's show brought new life to the tabloid talk show format, introducing personal confessions, therapy, and in later years, much discussed giveaways to entire audiences. The show is now over, but in late 2014 Winfrey is traveling to arenas across the U.S. for a personal empowerment show entitled "The Life You Want." See the table below for upcoming shows and information about Oprah Winfrey tickets.
|Current Tour:||The Life You Want|
|Known For:||The Oprah Winfrey Show|
The Color Purple
Various media properties
Born to 1954 to single mother Vernita Lee, Oprah Winfrey spent much of her early life in poverty and in an unstable home life. In her mid-teens, she was sent to live with her father Vernon Winfrey in Nashville, TN. Encouraged by her father to focus on her education, and by her grandmother Hattie Mae Lee to speak in public, Winfrey went on to excel in school, and later became an anchor at a local radio station, followed by brief periods at Nashville and Baltimore, MD, based television stations.
Winfrey's career truly began to take off in 1983 when she joined Chicago station WLS-TV, as host of the morning talk show AM Chicago. Within a year the Winfrey-led show displaced Donahue in the ratings for talk shows airing in the city. Three years later, now named The Oprah Winfrey Show, it went national.
Winfrey took a different approach to the tabloid talk show format that had, up to that point been dominated by Donahue. Featuring personal confessions by audience members, guests, and herself, Winfrey was able to persuade people to divulge things on national television they may not have otherwise revealed. The show later began covering broader topics of interest by interviewing guests involved with these topics, some of whom became regulars. Winfrey's show led to a boom in the format, paving the way for shows hosted by Ricki Lake, Jerry Springer, and Jenny Jones.
When The Oprah Winfrey Show aired its last show in 2011, Winfrey shifted to a behind the scenes role, as head of a media empire that includes her production company Harpo, television network OWN, and O, The Oprah Magazine. Winfrey still occasionally appears on television, most notably interviewing former bicyclist Lance Armstrong in 2013, amidst a doping scandal.