Aviva Blog Directory » People & Daily Life » Luminaries » W.. » Winfrey, Oprah

Oprah Gail Winfrey was born in Kosciusko, Mississippi on January 29, 1954 to a teenaged unwed mother, Vernita Lee, who cleaned houses for a living and her short-term partner Vernon Winfrey, a coal miner, barber, and eventual city councilman who left before Oprah was born. For the first six years of her life, she was raised by her maternal grandmother. When she was six, her mother came back to get her, and they moved into inner city Milwaukee, Wisconsin. When she was eight, her mother sent her to live with Vernon in Nashville, Tennessee. She ran away from home at 13 and became pregnant when she was 14. She had a son who died right after he was born. She bounced around from her mother's home to her father's where she went back to school and worked at getting an education. She was an honors student and won a full scholarship to Tennessee State University., where she studied communication. At 17, she won the Miss Black Tennessee title and caught the attention of a local radio station which hired her as a part time news announcer during her senior year in high school and her first two years of college. After college, she anchored news in various cities before becoming a syndicated talk show in 1984. She has never been married, though she has been in a relationship with her boyfriend, Stedman Graham, since 1986. She has no children.

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