Oprah Winfrey

broke to billionaire oprah winfrey

This media mogul and superstar needs no introduction. But it's easy to forget that the Queen of Talk started from very humble beginnings.

Winfrey was born in 1954 to an impoverished teenage single mother in rural Mississippi. Her early years involved numerous hardships, including sexual assault and a pregnancy at 14. The child, who was premature, did not survive.

Winfrey's intelligence and communication skills shone at an early age: She got her start in radio as a teenager, and then landed her own television show at 32. She hosted "The Oprah Winfrey Show" for 25 years. She would later serve as CEO of the network that was named for her, the Oprah Winfrey Network, which is available in 80 million homes.

First published June 5, 2014: 9:19 AM ET

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