Oprah Winfrey has had an extremely successful career as a media mogul; in addition to other honors, she is the recipient of 20 Emmy awards. But the path taken by the undeniable Queen of Talkshows has been anything but smooth. Nevertheless, she survived hardships and suffering to rise to a position where she became a global superstar, entrepreneur, and idol with a net worth of more than $1 billion.
While still in high school, she was able to secure a job as a co-anchor on the radio at the age of 19. She was given a new assignment to the daytime talk show, which opened up a world of possibilities for her. She pioneered and revolutionized contemporary TV as a chat show host. Winfrey is currently one of the wealthiest woman in the world.
However, her success as a talk show presenter and all else she has accomplished definitely wouldn’t have happened without her college professor’s assistance.The 69-year-old said she began her sophomore year with a future in education in mind as she addressed the class of 2023 graduates at her alma mater, Tennessee State University.
“I was majoring in speech communication and drama,” she said during her commencement speech. “I wanted to be an actress, but my father had proclaimed that no daughter of mine is going to be on somebody’s casting couch,” she said. “And so I decided, all right, I will teach.”
She remembered receiving a call with a job offer from a lead news anchor at Nashville’s WLAC-TV. She was on the radio when WLAC-TV heard her and decided she would be a terrific asset to add to their team.
She admitted to the pupils that she was hesitant to accept the offer because her father wanted her to complete her education. She said, “And I doubt even my dad would let me do something like that.
She asked her professor for his opinion on the idea, and he suggested that she accept it because that was the purpose of her degree.
“So that CBS Channel Five will call you,” she quoted her professor as saying. “You and your father ought to know that,’” she told the students. “He rolled his eyes and he’s walking away. He said, ‘I’ll tell him myself,’ and he did.”
She ultimately decided to accept the offer, and during the second semester of her sophomore year, she changed the end time of every class to 2 pm so that she could finish early and make it to the news station before her dad’s “ironclad 11:00 curfew.”
Winfrey had her own talk show and was close to winning her third Emmy when she graduated in 1988.
She achieved fame for her eponymous TV program, which at one point in time had the greatest ratings of any nationally syndicated program in the US.