What is Oprah Winfrey"s network Worth?

Oprah Winfrey is an American media mogul, tv host, and also author. Oprah"s network worth is $3.5 billion. Now she earns approximately $315 million every year thanks to her highly lucrative diversified media empire.

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First became a millionaire in 1989By 1995 her network worth overcome $500 millionBecame a billionaire in 2000Makes $300 million per yearOwns $200 million precious of actual estateHsa donated at least $400 million come charity to dateIs the richest self-made woman in America

Early Life

Oprah Winfrey rose from poverty, abuse, and prejudice to come to be one of the many influential world on the planet. She to be born Orpah Gail Winfrey top top January 29, 1954. The was not a misspelling. Her offered name to be "Orpah," a referral to the biblical figure in the book of Ruth. As a baby people regularly mispronounced the name as "Oprah" which ultimately stuck. She to be born in Kosciusko, Mississippi. Her mother, Vernita Lee, to be an unmarried teenage housemaid. Her organic father, Vernon Winfrey, remained in the armed Forces at the time of Oprah"s birth. He ultimately worked as a barber, charcoal miner, and also city councilman. It has been rumored that her biological father might have been one more man named Noah Robinson.


Oprah and her mom moved in v her grandmother once Oprah was a baby. The family lived in abject poverty, v Oprah famously being compelled to wear potato sacks as college dresses. Therefore she literally rose from rags come riches.

When she to be six, Oprah and her mom moved to Milwaukee wherein her mother gained a job as a maid. Throughout this period, Oprah"s mother offered birth come a second daughter named Patricia. In 2003 Patricia passed away from cocaine abuse at the age of 43. Another half-sibling, a brother called Jeffrey born to dad Vernon, died in 1989 native AIDS.

When Oprah was 12, she was sent out to live with her father Vernon in Nashville. In ~ 13 she ran away from house to escape the abuse she competent there. At 14 she became pregnant through a child who was born premature and died.

She originally attended Lincoln High institution in Milwaukee however after excelling in a special regimen eared a deliver to an rich suburban school called Nicolet High School. After obtaining into some trouble she went ago to living in Nashville. At east Nashville High institution she began to blossom. In ~ 17, Oprah winner a miss Black beauty Tennessee pageant which caused a part-time task at a local black radio station dubbed WVOL working as a news anchor.

She deserve a scholarship to Tennessee State University, wherein she studied communication. At 19, Oprah left school to pursue a job in media full-time.

Media Career

Oprah ended up being the an initial black female news anchor in ~ WLAC-TV in Nashville. She was likewise the youngest anchor in the station"s history. When she was 22 she was hired by a terminal in Baltimore called WJZ come co-anchor the six o"clock news, a coveted position.


In respectable 1978 she began co-hosting a talk display called people Are Talking. Through 1980, she to be beating the nationally-syndicated Phil Donahue in the regional Baltimore market. By the end of her Baltimore run, she to be earning $220,000 every year, i beg your pardon is the exact same as around $560,000 now after adjusting for inflation.

Recognizing her potential, in 1984 ABC gave Oprah her really own 30-minute morning talk show in Chicago come be produced by a firm called King world Productions. King world was also the production studio behind Jeopardy and also Wheel of Fortune. The task came with a four-year, $1 million contract. ~ adjusting because that inflation, $250k every year at that time is the very same as roughly $600k today.

The Oprah Winfrey Show and Syndication Empire

Within a couple of months of am Chicago"s first air day on January 2, 1984, Oprah carried the ratings from dead critical to the highest-rated talk show in Chicago, displacing Phil Donahue. ~ above September 8, 1986, the display was change the name The Oprah Winfrey Show, transfer nationally, syndicated, and expanded come a complete hour. In the beginning, the show only targeted women"s issues however was later expanded to cover such topics as health, spirituality, society issues, and also charity.

Also in ~ a couple of months that the an initial air date, Oprah began to end up being suspicious of the $1 million contract. Fellow Chicago TV personality i get it Ebert told Oprah to accomplish with his agent, a guy named Jeffrey Jacobs. In addition to representing both Ebert and also his co-host Gene Siskel, Jeffrey also represented bill Cosby.

Jacobs was fast to allude out the Oprah was unlikely to ever before make a single extra dollar together the show became syndicated. He to be blunter than that, informing Oprah:


"This is a slave contract. Slaves occupational for a solved dollar. They"re ready to bank on a national show. This contract is because that 4 years, totaling $1 million dollars, an effort to make you a extremely paid slave."

Jacobs described how Siskel and also Ebert owned a item of your show"s syndication, and also how invoice Cosby owned a item of his show"s syndication together well.

How Oprah became A Billionaire

Oprah fired she agent and also sent Jeffrey Jacobs back to King World/ABC come strike a new deal. King human being refused to renegotiate. This would revolve out to be very fortuitous rejection. Rather of offering over a modest amount of the show"s syndication points, King human being opened the door for Jeffrey Jacobs and also Oprah to accidentally launch an empire.

While negotiations were cold, Jeffrey and Oprah went the end on your own and also established HARPO Productions.

King civilization was in a tough position. At the moment Oprah was attracting document viewer number in Chicago and national syndication was looking prefer a slam dunk. Castle should have relented and also given Oprah a cut of the backend. It would certainly have price them a few million every year.

Finally, King human being came back to the table but by currently Oprah to be no much longer seeking a reduced of the backend. King civilization executives to be shocked to find out that she to be planning to develop the display HERSELF. She and also Jeffrey, v HARPO Productions at HARPO Studios, would certainly pay all production prices of the show and also then they would certainly pay King people a collection fee to syndicate the present nationally. King civilization was now the payment employee.


Oprah owned 90% that HARPO. Jeffrey own 10%.

Next, Oprah and Jeffrey negotiated a much bigger overall address ABC that had movie productions, a magazine, books, and, many importantly, the ideal to launch various other TV mirrors under her production umbrella. All manufacturing for these reflects would take place at her 3.5-acre HARPO campus.

That"s no all.

Oprah and Jeffrey went so far regarding negotiate an ownership stake in King human being Productions itself. Many thanks to this deal, Oprah would certainly earn money off every present King people produced, including Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune.

In 1999 CBS to buy King people for $2.5 billion in stock. Once the acquisition was over, Oprah owned 1% of all of CBS. She additionally ended up owning a far-ranging chunk of Disney stock v a transaction she made with ABC in the mid-1990s.

While her 1980s talk show contemporaries choose Sally Jesse Raphael, Phil Donahue, and Jerry Springer would certainly go on to make tens of countless dollars through traditional contracts, Oprah would go on to do multiple BILLIONS that dollars.

Oprah net Worth Milestones
YearNet Worth
1985$500,000
1989$1,000,000
1995$500,000,000
2000$1,000,000,000
2007$2,000,000,000
2014$3,000,000,000
2019$3,100,000,000
2020$3,500,000,000

When Oprah first crossed into billionaire status in 1999/2000, she came to be America"s very first black mrs billionaire. Roughly this time she was earning $300 million every year creating her very own show and also Dr. Phil"s and Rachael Ray"s shows.

As the this writing, Oprah is the fourth-richest celebrity on the planet. The only billionaire celebrities who have her beat space Kanye West ($6.6 billion), Steven Spielberg (with $7.5 billion) and also George Lucas (with $10 billion).

Oprah Winfrey is the wealthiest self-made mrs in America.



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Endorsements and Other tasks

Oprah has been a plank member of weight Watchers because 2015. As soon as she was lugged on to the company, she was awarded $43.5 million worth of equity. The stake has grown to it is in worth more than $400 million. In 2019 she signed a multi-year resolve Apple to develop shows for the technology giant.

As one actress, Oprah has appeared in a number of significant films including 1985"s "The color Purple," 1998"s "Beloved," 2013"s "The Butler," and also 2014"s "Selma."

She has created dozens of tv shows, documentaries, and also miniseries.

As the this writing, Oprah has actually been nominated for 2 Academy Awards, one for finest Supporting Actress for "The color Purple" and another together a producer for Best picture for "Selma." In 2011 she received the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Academy Award.

Oprah has won 18 Daytime Emmy Awards (out the 26 nominations), one golden Globe, 2 Primetime Emmys, and a Tony Award.

Oprah real Estate Portfolio

Oprah owns hundreds (potentially end 1,000) of acres of genuine estate in the United says with a minimum value of $200 million.

Chicago: from 1985 to 2015, Oprah"s major residence to be a 9,625-square-foot Chicago residence which she sold in 2015 for $4.625 million. She likewise previously own a penthouse in Atlanta i m sorry she offered in 2008 because that $1.8 million.

Montecito: may be her most impressive real estate heritage is a 23,000-square-foot mansion in Montecito, California (near Santa Barbara) which she to buy in 2001 for $50 million. Now this residence is worth at least $90 million. In 2016 she purchased a 23-acre farm yard estate, additionally in Montecito, for $29 million. In 2019 she bought the residence next door for $6.85 million which broadened her Montecito footprint by 4 acres. In total, Oprah own 67 acres in Montecito.

Washington: indigenous 2018 come 2021 Oprah owned a 43-acre estate on Orcas Island in Washington State. She purchase the home for $8.275 million in 2018 and sold it for $14 million in July 2021.

Colorado: In 2014 she invested $14 million because that a residence in Telluride, Colorado.

Maui: Oprah bought her first property in Maui in 2002. Over the years she has spent as lot as $60 million to piece together 160+ acre in Maui. She invested $32 million in one transaction alone come buy the property next door.

Philanthropy

As that this writing, Oprah has given more than $400 million to charity, mostly focusing on educational causes. She has actually paid for much more than 400 scholarships come Atlanta"s Morehouse College.

In 1998, she released Oprah"s point of view Network, a charity that supports nonprofits about the world. Oprah"s point of view Network has actually raised an ext than $80 million to day for a variety of organizations. Oprah personal pays for 100% that the Network"s governmental costs therefore 100% that all raised funds can go directly to the nonprofits.

In 2007 Oprah created the Oprah Winfrey management Academy for Girls in southern Africa. To date, she has personally offered $40 million to money the school. Together of this writing, the school has actually an enrollment the 322, through plans to increase to 450.

Oprah"s point of view Network increased $11 million for Hurricane Katrina relief, through Oprah donating an additional $10 million.

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In 2013 she donated $12 million to the Smithsonian national Museum of african American history and Culture. That same year, Oprah obtained the Presidential Medal of liberty from president Barack Obama.