Born on January 29, 1954 in Kosciusko, Mississippi, Oprah Winfrey lived with her grandmother on a farm until she was six years old. From the age of 6 to 13, she lived in Milwaukee with her mother. At 13, claiming abuse, she ran away from her mother’s home. The authorities sent her to a juvenile detention center. Denied admission to the detention center because of overcrowding, Oprah went to live with her father in Nashville. Her father, Vernon Winfrey was a strict disciplinarian instituting a midnight curfew and requiring her to read a book and write a book report each week.
This strict upbringing would later prove to be beneficial in Oprah’s career. At 17, Nashville radio station, WVOL, hired her to read the news on the air. That same year she became Nashville’s Miss Fire Prevention and Miss Black Tennessee. She enrolled at Tennessee State University, majoring in Speech