Oprah Winfrey: Powerhouse Outlier Essay

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As technology has developed over the years, society has become extremely reliant and addicted to the media. According to A.C. Nielsen Co., a global information and measurement firm, the average American youth watches twenty eight hours of television per week. Within a sixty-five year timeframe an individual will have spent a total of nine years watching TV (Herr). Both of these sects contribute millions of jobs providing individuals with ample opportunities, a gateway to success. It certainly provided the break for one African American woman to attain a status she could have only dreamt of as a child growing up in an unstable, emotionally debilitating, and unpromising environment. Oprah Winfrey is arguably one of the most influential women…show more content…
She channels her prosperity into helping others and has become a widely recognized philanthropist, initially via with her talk show then in establishing philanthropic projects that have touched millions around the world. Oprah’s success is undeniable, but what makes her so influential, so remarkable? According to Malcolm Gladwell, author of The Outliers: The Story of Success, there are certain factors that contribute to or thwart the success of an individual; but does Oprah fit the archetype that defines a successful person, or was she simply lucky? Oprah Gail Winfrey was born on January 29, 1954 in Kosciusko, Mississippi to the unwed Vernita Lee and Vernon Winfrey at a time when illegitimate children were highly frowned upon. Soon after Oprah’s birth, her parents separated; her father, who was in the military, moved to Nashville and remarried; while her mother moved north in search of employment and a fresh start, leaving Oprah to be raised by her grandparents. From an early age Oprah exhibited elevated intelligence, her grandmother, Hattie Mae Lee, encouraged her curious mind teaching her how to read at an early age and pruning her developing speaking skill which she put to practice in church by reciting bible verses and sermons. When she started school, she was allowed to skip ahead to first grade and then third grade because she already knew how to read and write. Then at the age of six, her grandmother became ill and Oprah was sent to live with her mother

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