Yet before Oprah could reach that point in her story, she would suffer through some truly terrible events. For instance, from the age of nine she suffered abuse at the hands of relatives for years. And in 2012 she spoke to David Letterman at Ball State University, detailing one particularly harrowing occasion.
“I went to a well to get some water and carry it in a bucket. And I was playing in the water with my fingers, and my grandmother had seen me out the window, and she didn’t like it,” Oprah explained to Letterman. “She whipped me so badly that I had welts on my back.”