Saturday, December 1, 2012
Starting out in radio while still in high school, she was co-anchoring a local television news program in Nashville, Tennessee, at nineteen. But it was a decade later, when Winfrey introduced herself to the world hosting a thirty-minute morning talk show in Chicago that it became apparent she would never again take a back seat to anybody. And an in-your-face woman was born.
Chatty, empathetic, confessional, and deeply, deeply personal, with a heavy dollop of down home humor, Winfrey's interviewing style encouraged guests to tell the viewing public all manner of things they would never have told anyone else and within two years, she had become America's talk show queen. In time, she began acting in and producing films, earning an Academy Award nomination for her performance in "The Color Purple." But eventually, she added her own film production company, her own radio network, her own magazine, and her own television channel, as well -- in-your-face in every form of media around the globe.
A billionaire, Winfrey has become as famous for her philanthropy as she has for her media work, though she draws her share of criticism, as well, since being in-your-face makes a person an easy -- and inviting -- target. Nevertheless, called "arguably the world's most powerful woman" (by CNN and Time.com), Winfrey can endorse a product, a book, or a political candidate and ensure its hyper-success. Columnist Maureen Dowd wrote: "She is the top alpha female in [America]. She has more credibility than the president. [Oprah] is a straight ahead success story." And a big-time in-your-face woman.