Entrepreneur Oprah Winfrey

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Submitted By MCKI0430
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Entrepreneur Oprah Winfrey
Marzette L. McKinnis
OMM 614 Dr. Zelihic
September 9, 2013

Entrepreneur Oprah Winfrey
Oprah Winfrey is in my opinion the epitome of a successful American entrepreneur. I chose an article on Oprah Winfrey for this paper because we share many character traits such as strength, independence, and generosity to name a few. Additionally, she exudes positivity and has an inspirational, energizing charisma that affects everyone in her presence. Like me, Oprah realized at an early age that we are responsible for our own futures. She overcame extreme adversity to become one of the most successful entrepreneurs in America today. Harvard Business Scholl professor, Howard Stevenson defines entrepreneurship as the pursuit of opportunity absent regard to resources currently controlled (Schurenber, 2012).
Despite growing up poor, enduring racism and sexual abuse, Oprah Winfrey achieved success through sheer force of her personality. An article entitled, “Oprah Winfrey: America’s Ultimate Brand”, discusses how she forged her $1 billion dollar fortune, which today has increased to $2.9 billion. She started her entertainment career at a radio station in Nashville while still in high school. She became the youngest person to anchor the Nashville news at age 19, as well as the first African American woman.
Oprah hosted a morning talk show in Chicago that was so successful, within a year it expanded to an hour and was renamed “The Oprah Winfrey Show”. She negotiated a lucrative deal with the show’s distributor that gave her production and hosting rights (Sykes, 2005). By 2005, Oprah amassed an entertainment empire consisting of television, film production and publishing, which landed her on the Forbes list of world’s richest people. Her talk show was an extreme success, garnering number one ratings for 18 seasons, reaching an audience of…...

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...didn’t happen overnight. It took great determination and focus.

Oprah Winfrey was born on January 29th, 1954 in rural Mississippi to her unwed parents Vernon and Vernita. She spent the first six years of her life living with her grandparents, where she learned to read and write at an early age. Oprah once stated that if it wasn’t for her grandmother’s “foundation for success” she probably wouldn’t be as successful as she is today. Despite this, Oprah still had a tough childhood.

From age six to thirteen, Oprah lived with her mother in Milwaukee. Her mother often worked long hours damaging their relationship. In fact, Oprah’s early childhood was not typical for average American girls. She was raped, gave birth to a premature baby, and was sent to a juvenile detention facility. As a last resort, her mother sent her to live with her strict father, in Nashville.

Oprah Winfrey’s success began with her broadcasting career, which she began at the age of 17, when she was hired to read news on the air. After high school, she received a four-year scholarship to Tennessee State University, where she majored in Speech Communication and Performing Arts.

Although Oprah was offered many jobs where she would be able to showcase her talent in public speaking, her big break came on September 6th, 1985, where she was given her own show, appropriately named “The Oprah Winfrey Show” based in Chicago Illinois. The show-addressed issues Oprah felt were important and featured people suffering......

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