Leadership Paper - Oprah Winfrey

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OPRAH WINFREY When presented the opportunity to do this paper, I thought hard about someone that I think really embodies those characteristics that define a true leader. It didn’t take me very long to choose Ms. Oprah Winfrey, famous talk show host and humanitarian. My only knowledge of Oprah before doing research for this paper, was the same as most people, I knew she was very rich, powerful, had a TV show that everyone loved to watch, and gave back a lot to the community. However, everything I found out was way beyond my expectations, and I find it important to note her upbringing to get a better sense of who she is today. Early Life Oprah Gail Winfrey was born on January 29, 1954 to a teenage mom Vernita Lee, and father Vernon Winfrey in Kosciusko, Mississippi. After her birth, Oprah’s mother was unable to fully take care of her and moved to Milwaukee to find work, and planned on later moving her daughter in with her. In her mother’s absence Oprah was left in the care of her grandmother, Hattie Mae Lee, who taught her how to read and had young Oprah participating in various church activities. As said, Oprah was moved to the city with her mother at the age of 6, but this move brought troubles to Oprah’s life as she was constantly raped between the ages of nine and 13 by male family members and a family friend. A little while later in her teenage years, Oprah’s promiscuity caused her to become pregnant, but didn’t end well as the child died as an infant. After these events, Oprah moved to Nashville in Tennessee to live with her father, who gave her a stable home that she so desperately needed. She enrolled in school, where she excelled beyond expectation and was given the opportunity to attend Tennessee State University on a full scholarship. During her years in Tennessee she also won Miss Black Tennessee beauty pageant, and landed her first

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