timeline

born 1954

Oprah Winfrey...unquestionably influential. The Oprah Book Club seal could boost a book's sales more than a million copies. Being named among her favorites ~ from tea to notepaper ~ translates into healthy business growth for big brands like Starbucks + small artisans like Felix Doolittle. 

A self-made billionaire, Oprah has become one of the world's most powerful people from a career based on "being herself."

Her status as international celebrity + tastemaker is a far cry from her troubled childhood and adolescence. The secret to the beloved talk-show host's success is deeply connected to her honesty about past struggles ~ from poverty to abuse to discrimination. And, her strength to move beyond them while helping others do the same.  

Oprah's media empire began with the highest-rated talk show of all time. Now it includes books, magazines + her own television network...all connected by the same the empowering themes ~ spirituality and self-improvement. A champion of service, Oprah is also famous for giving back with a record of global philanthropy that spans everything from disaster relief to education for underprivileged girls to playing a key role in preserving African-American history. Today, Oprah continues to build on her legacy of creating opportunities for everyone to "live your best life."

bio bits

her quotes

all quotes by Oprah Winfrey (34)

"It doesn't matter who you are or where you come from. The ability to triumph begins with you. Always."

Academy of Achievement | february 1991

"I didn't want to say 'no' because I didn't want to hurt anybody's feelings. I didn't want to say 'no' because I didn't want anybody angry with me. I didn't want to say 'no' because I didn't want people to think I'm not nice . . . Not only do you have the right to do whatever you want, you have the right to change your mind."

Academy of Achievement | february 1991

"On my own I will just create, and if it works, it works, and if it doesn't, I'll create something else."

How Oprah Went From Talk Show Host To First African-American Woman Billionaire | october 1995

"If you want the best the world has to offer, offer the world your best."

maxim | december 2003

"You get a car! You get a car! You get a car! You get a car!"

The Oprah Winfrey Show | september 2004

"I love the written word. Over the years, the written word has inspired, challenged, and sustained me."

Words That Matter | april 2010

"Here's what my love affair with quotations has taught me: the more you focus on words that uplift you, the more you embody the ideas contained in those words."

Words That Matter | april 2010

"Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right."

facebook post | january 2012

"True wealth isn't about money, it's about options."

Thando's Dramatic Dreams | october 2012

"When you do what you know is right, you will always be okay."

Oprah's Words for the First Graduating Class | october 2012

"Education is the door to freedom."

Graduation Day at the Academy | october 2012

"The single most important lesson I learned in 25 years talking every single day to people, was that there is a common denominator in our human experience...We want to be validated. We want to be understood."

Harvard commencement address | may 2013

"The key to life is to develop an internal moral, emotional GPS."

Harvard commencement address | may 2013

"Failure is just life trying to move us in another direction."

Harvard University commencement address | may 2013

"Discover who you are, and use who you are in service to the world."

Presidential Medal of Freedom award | november 2013

"My God, Gloria Steinem. Had there not been Gloria Steinem and her fight for women's rights, I wouldn't even have had the opportunity in the work that I have done."

Presidential Medal of Freedom award | november 2013

"I have built a career and a life out of being myself."

Presidential Medal of Freedom award | november 2013

"You are here not to shrink down to less but to blossom into more of who you really are."

Oprah Chai Tea for Starbucks | 2014

"Align your personality with your purpose, and no one can touch you."

Stanford Graduate School of Business | april 2014

"Tea is literally organic for me. I love the ritual of making it in the morning. While it's steeping, I read from a box of beautiful quotes I have. It's like saying grace for me."

Walter Scott asks… | may 2014

"Do what you have to do, until you can do what you really want to do."

Super Soul Sunday | june 2014

"Love doesn't hurt."

Oprah Learns That Love Doesn't Hurt | september 2014

"We are all artists of our own lives...We can use as many colors and brushstrokes as we like."

What I Know for Sure | september 2014

"The only way to endure the quake is to adjust your stance."

What I Know For Sure | september 2014

"The problems that make you throw up your hands and holler 'Mercy!' will build your tenacity, courage, discipline, and determination."

What I Know For Sure | september 2014

"I sat up in bed one crisp, sunny morning and made a vow to love my heart. To treat it with respect. To feed and nurture it. To work it out and then let it rest."

What I Know For Sure | september 2014

"I live in the space of thankfulness—and for that, I have been rewarded a million times over."

What I Know For Sure | september 2014

"Right now, no matter where you are, you are a single choice away from a new beginning."

What I Know for Sure | september 2014

"If you get paid for doing what you love, every paycheck is a bonus."

What I Know For Sure | september 2014

"When you nurture and support your body, it reciprocates."

What I Know For Sure | september 2014

"Making a bold move is the only way to advance toward the grandest vision the universe has for you."

What I Know For Sure | september 2014

"Leadership means knowing where you want to go and being a force for helping someone else grow into what is the best of themselves."

Meet the Academy's First Student President | october 2014

"My role is to break down big ideas about who we are in a way that people can see it and taste it and feel it and know it for themselves."

LinkedIn Pulse | october 2015

"You need support. You need people who want you to win."

Johnson C. Smith University commencement address | may 2016
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curated with care by Meghan Miller Brawley {july 2014} + Alicia Williamson