Oprah Winfrey is undeniably one of the most powerful women in America, if not the entire world. After all, she has built a multi-billion-dollar empire from nothing. The star has also been credited with creating a new brand of national discourse – one that places emphasis on emotion and doesn’t separate the private from the public. So when Oprah suffered a tragedy during the Thanksgiving period of 2018, it naturally didn’t take long for the event to make worldwide news.
Oprah’s truly inspirational story is one of rags to riches. She was born in 1954 in Kosciusko, Mississippi, to Vernita Lee, who was just a teenager at the time. Young Oprah was thus raised for a time by her grandmother, Hattie Mae Lee, who was so poverty-stricken that she couldn’t always afford clothes for her young ward. As a result, Oprah was frequently forced to dress herself in potato sacks.
And yet even at a young age, Oprah’s desire to engage with others shone through. For instance, she would perform pretend interviews with whomever and whatever she could find – be they animals or inanimate dolls. Oprah was already such a talented speaker as a child, in fact, that the church congregation nicknamed her “the Preacher.” But despite the gifts it had given her, life would not prove easy for Oprah.