As the richest self-made woman in the world, Oprah Winfrey makes about $300 million per year. How much does she make in just one day?
Today, Winfrey announced her “Oprah’s Favorite Things” holiday gift idea list for 2021. Born out of a popular segment that Winfrey did on her former show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, the list has wrapped up what gifts the media mogul recommends for the holidays for the last 24 years.
Net worth: $3.5 billion
Oprah Winfrey is the richest self-made woman in the world. Born in poverty, Winfrey gained fame through her TV talk show, The Oprah Winfrey Show. She's a television producer, actress, author, and philanthropist.
Winfrey has highlighted 110 products across ten shopping categories in her 2021 list, including home, fashion, kitchen, beauty, tech, children, pets, and books. Her 2021 list pays special attention to brands from small businesses, women-owned businesses, and items created by people of color.
"After this past year, I think we all deserve some surprises and delights for the holiday season," Winfrey writes at the introduction of the Oprah’s Favorite Things list published on OprahDaily.com.
“The Oprah Effect” has benefited several brands
Getting a recommendation from Winfrey and inclusion in her “favorite things” list has propelled many formerly unknown brands. The “Oprah Effect” has helped put brands such as UGG, Tory Burch, and Spanx on the map, said Adam Glassman, creative director for O, The Oprah Magazine, in a 2020 interview with OprahDaily.com.
Oprah’s influence on everything from what people buy to what books they read is almost as much of an accomplishment for Winfrey as her $3.5 billion net worth. The story of how Winfrey went from a childhood of poverty, abuse, and prejudice to become one of the world’s most influential people is a true rags-to-riches story.
Oprah Winfrey lived in poverty as a child
Winfrey’s mother was an unwed teenager who worked as a maid to make ends meet. Winfrey, born in Mississippi, had two half-siblings: a sister, Patricia, who died from cocaine abuse in 2003, and a brother, Jeffrey, who died in 1989 from AIDS. At just 14 years old, Winfrey got pregnant, but the baby died after being born prematurely.
Winfrey started in television at age 19
Winfrey got her first job in television at age 19 when she was a co-anchor on the local evening news at WLAC-TV in Nashville. Not only was she the youngest anchor in the station’s history, but also the station’s first black female anchor.
That first break led Winfrey to climb the ranks in the television news business until she got her own morning talk show at the ABC affiliate station in Chicago. Her show soon became the top-rated show in the area, and it was renamed The Oprah Winfrey Show in 1986.
After contract disputes with her show’s producers, King World Productions, Winfrey went on to produce the show on her own. That decision changed the course of her career and helped to make Winfrey the billionaire she is today. In 2000, she became the first black female billionaire in the U.S. Her personal brand includes a magazine, books, movie productions, and other TV shows.
Winfrey is Weight Watchers' largest shareholder
In 2015, Winfrey added Weight Watchers to her empire. She became the diet company’s largest shareholder, earned a spot on the company board of directors, and became the celebrity spokesperson for the brand. According to Forbes, news of Winfrey joining the Weight Watchers board caused the company’s stock to double in a single day of trading, putting an extra $71.6 million in Winfrey’s pocket.