Oprah Winfrey fan? Really? Are you so sure? Think again! We bet you didn’t know these 10 things about the queen of all media. I mean – all media. Just to make sure you’re paying attention, we’ll throw one lie in there, too. Think you can figure out which one that is?
1. Oprah Winfrey’s first talk show was called People Are Talking. Long before her quarter century reign as the highest-rated, most popular daytime talk show in history
, Winfrey hosted, along with journalist Richard Sher, a local talk show in Baltimore, Maryland, called, People Are Talking.
2. Winfrey’s real first name is Ohpar. For most of her life, friends and family have called Winfrey “Oprah,” but the name listed on her birth certificate is the biblical name “Ohpar.” Winfrey’s mother gave her the name, but with so many tongues tied, Winfrey relented and stuck with Oprah.
3. Is a member of the National Women’s Hall of Fame in Seneca, N.Y. Not a shocker. Not with all that Winfrey has done outside of the world of daytime television – charities, international schools, publishing and business. Maybe surprising is when she was inducted – in 1994! Well before she became the incredible powerhouse she is today.
4. Was instrumental in getting “The Oprah Bill” passed. In 1993, President William Clinton signed the National Child Protection Act, often called the Oprah Bill because of Winfrey’s staunch support of getting the bill signed into law. The bill gives parents
the assurance that their children are not being cared for by criminals by creating a national database of child abusers.
5. Then did it again in 2008. 15 years after passage of the Oprah Bill in 1993, Oprah got on her incredibly enormous soapbox and urged her viewers to contact their senators to call for passage of the Combating Child Exploitation bill. Her viewers listened, flooding Senate offices with calls, emails and letters. The bill was passed.
6. Became – and remains – the first African American female billionaire. Not only was she named the first African American female billionaire in history in 2003 on the Forbes list, she remains the only African American female billionaire on the list. EVER.
7. Oprah is more popular than Superman and Elvis At least according to VH1, who listed the Winfrey as the No. 1 Pop Culture Icon in history. She topped both the Man of Steel and the King of Rock.
8. Has a perfect attendance record. Over her 25-year history on The Oprah Winfrey Show, Winfrey never missed a day. Of course it’s likely that tapings could be moved or rescheduled depending on Winfrey’s own schedule. Just sayin’.
9. Got the world reading again. Well, maybe not the whole world, but a whole lotta the world. Her “Oprah’s Book Club,” which now lives on digitally online, has spurred more than 30 million in book sales for more than 60 books on her coveted list. That’s a lot of new readers.
10. Hasn’t won an Emmy since 1998. And for good reason. She withdrew her eligibility after winning the Lifetime Achievement Award in 1998. Prior to that, Winfrey regularly nabbed the Emmy for Outstanding Daytime Variety Show (talk show in our world).
So did you guess the lie? If you said No. 2 was the lie, you’re right! But you might be surprised to know that it’s only a half-lie. It’s true that Oprah’s given name on her birth certificate is not “Oprah.” But it’s not “Ohpar.” It’s “Orpah.” And for those of you who were sure No. 2 was correct – caught you with the misspelling!