A psychologist, television presenter, actress, and businesswoman, Oprah Winfrey became the first female African American news anchor at the age of 19. And in 1985, she received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Sofia in the movie The Color Purple. Nowadays, she is best known for her talk show The Oprah Winfrey Show, the most watched program in American television history, which aired for 25 years.

A winner of several Emmy Awards, Oprah is also a well-known philanthropist, and her donations to charities have already surpassed the million dollar mark. The institutions that attract attention of the journalist the most are those providing access to education for people who would otherwise not be able to get it. The Oprah Winfrey Foundation that she created, provides hundreds of grants to nonprofit organizations, and funds projects focusing on education, learning, and leadership development, using Winfrey’s personal money, as well as donations accepted through the Foundation’s website.

Politically and socially active, Winfrey speaks openly about such important issues as racism, sexual harassment, and women’s rights. At the Golden Globe ceremony of 2018, when she received the Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement, the actress made a point of mentioning the fact that she was the first black woman to be given that honor. In her acceptance speech that fired up the audience and moved the world, Oprah sought to send a message of hope for a better future, and also recalled the series of sexual harassment allegations  made by actresses and women of other professions involved in the film industry, against Hollywood producers, directors, and actors:

And I’m especially proud and inspired by all the women who have felt strong enough and empowered enough to speak up and share their personal stories. (…) But it’s not just a story affecting the entertainment industry. It’s one that transcends any culture, geography, race, religion, politics, or workplace. (…) So I want all the girls watching here, now, to know that a new day is on the horizon! And when that new day finally dawns, it will be because of a lot of magnificent women, many of whom are right here in this room tonight, and some pretty phenomenal men fighting hard to make sure that they become the leaders who take us to the time when nobody ever has to say ‘Me too’* again.”

*A reference to the #MeToo campaign that has inspired millions of women to come together on social media to share their stories of abuse and violence committed against them.

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