Oprah Winfrey



Average: 3.1 (40 votes)
Fast Facts
oprah-winfrey.jpg
Other Names and Nicknames: 
Oprah Gail Winfrey
Function: 
Spiritual Icon
Traditions: 
New Age, Power of Now
Main Countries of Activity: 
USA
Date of Birth: 
January 29, 1954
Place of Birth: 
Kosciusko, Mississippi, USA
In His/Her Body ("alive"): 
Yes

Biography

Oprah Winfrey is an American media personality, actress, television producer, literary critic and magazine publisher, best known for her self-titled, multi-award winning talk show, which has become the highest-rated program of its kind in history.

She is considered a prominent spiritual icon and an influential New Age promoter. She has had numerous famous spiritual and self help authors and personalities on her show, she also speaks openly about her own beliefs and spirituality.

Winfrey was born into poverty in rural Mississippi to a teenage single mother and later raised in an inner-city Milwaukee neighborhood. She experienced considerable hardship during her childhood, including being raped at the age of nine and becoming pregnant at 14; her son died in infancy. Sent to live with the man she calls her father, a barber in Tennessee, Winfrey landed a job in radio while still in high school and began co-anchoring the local evening news at the age of 19. Her emotional ad-lib delivery eventually got her transferred to the daytime talk show arena, and after boosting a third-rated local Chicago talk show to first place, she launched her own production company and became internationally syndicated.

By the mid 1990s she had reinvented her show with a focus on literature, self-improvement, and spirituality. Though criticized for unleashing confession culture and promoting controversial self-help fads, she is generally admired for overcoming adversity to become a benefactor to others.

Emerging as a spiritual icon

During the late 90's Winfrey emerged as an influential spiritual leader. Since 1994, when she abandoned traditional talk-show fare for more edifying content, and 1998, when she began 'Change Your Life TV', Oprah's most significant role has become that of spiritual leader.

To her audience of more than 22 million mostly female viewers, she has become a postmodern priestess — an icon of church-free spirituality. On the season premier of Winfrey's 13th season Roseanne Barr told Winfrey "you're the African Mother Goddess of us all" inspiring much enthusiasm from the studio audience. The animated series Futurama alluded to her spiritual influence by suggesting that "Oprahism" is a mainstream religion in 3000 AD.

In 2008 Winfrey endorsed author and spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle and his book, "A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose", which sold several million copies after being selected for her book club. During a Webinar class, in which she promoted the book, Winfrey stated "God is a feeling experience and not a believing experience. If your religion is a believing experience…then that's not truly God." Frank Pastore, a Christian radio talk show host on KKLA, was among the many Christian leaders who criticized Winfrey's views, saying "if she's a Christian, she's an ignorant one, because Christianity is incompatible with New Age thought."

Teachings

Some notable quotes of Oprah Winfrey:

I don't believe that anything happens without a reason. I don't believe it. And in order to believe "That is the truth," you have to believe it in all circumstances.

So, that is my final lesson from the universe - you just do what you need to do, and stay on track.

The older I get, the more centered I become and the more I think I really know about myself.

That, to me, has been the greatest lesson of my life: to recognize that I am solely responsible for it, and not trying to please other people, and not living my life to please other people, but doing what my heart says all the time.

The other big lesson for me has been to learn: not only do you have the right to do whatever you want, you have the right to change your mind.

You never have to do anything. Don't know what to do? Do nothing. I wait. And that has been a big lesson: to be willing, to be still with myself, and trust myself and my higher power to help me make the right decision.

So I say, if you are going to take responsibility for your life, then you have to take it all forms.

Photos

Locations

See details in Oprah's Channel on Youtube (link below)

View Video

Books & Media

Recommended Books: 
Cover image

O's Guide to Life: The Best of O, The Oprah Magazine (Wisdom, Wit, Advice, Interviews and Inspiration)

by Editors of The Oprah Magazine

(Single Issue Magazine)

A definitive handbook for living well on one's own terms brings together a collection of informative, empowering, and motivational articles from O, the Oprah Magazine that are filled with expert advice on how to promote one's physical and emotional well-being, from maintaining one's health to building confidence and discovering a sense of purpose. 125,000 first printing.

Recommended DVD & Video: 
Cover image

The Oprah Winfrey Show: 20th Anniversary Collection

(DVD)

The Stars. The Stories. The Moments. An unprecedented six-disc collection celebrating the 20th Anniversary of The Oprah Winfrey Show, one-on-one with Oprah Winfrey herself. See exclusive never-before-seen footage, never-before-heard thoughts and personal revelations, as Oprah takes a candid, open and look back at all the most memorable moments of 20 years of history-making television. Get the inside story on Oprah's all-time favorite guests, surprises, celebrities and the people that have touched Oprah's heart forever. Share Oprah's personal perspective on the stories that made headlines, the interviews she'll never forget and more! Plus, go on a personal tour of Oprah's home, watch never-before-seen footage from the beginning years of The Oprah Winfrey Show and take an exclusive look behind the scenes of a day in the life of The Oprah Winfrey Show! Twenty extraordinary years...from Oprah to you. Oprah Winfrey will donate 100% of Harpo's profits from the sale of this DVD Collection to Oprah's Angel Network.

Pro Opinions

Encourage

NIDHI PARKASH's picture

More than the spiritual matter she seems to work for the social reforms facing the hardships created by the particular class of people against her priesthood, as per the information found available at

Guru and desciple ...

MAI's picture

Oprah is a prime example of guru and desciple rolled into one.
She assimilates knowledge -to learn and apply it in her own life-and helps dissimilate it-by sharing it with a world-wide audience.

Huge service to the spiritual cause

joy's picture

Oprah Winfrey has done a huge service to spirituality.

She brought New Age to the mainstream daily discussion.

And broke the hegemony of the church over the hearts of the believers in USA.

Con Opinions

What is she doing here?

Sudhakar Majety's picture

Why is she here?

erez's picture

Because she has done more than any guru

I guess she is here because she has done a spiritual service for so many much more than any guru, self-appointed spiritual teacher or traditional master.

Read her profile and you will understand.

We sometimes feel that a spiritual person must be one who has an official spiritual status, who is affiliated with an official tradition and so on. Most of those officials are of no value, just sophisticated unofficial politicians.

erez | Sat, 03/06/2010 - 14:58

HUH??

tiger.roan's picture

huh??

Jasmin | Thu, 05/24/2012 - 20:29