Who doesn't know the name Oprah Winfrey? As the first black woman multi-billionaire with a net worth of 2.7 billion dollars, Oprah Winfrey has had an enormous impact on broadcasting and philanthropy throughout Hollywood and the world. We know about her about her BFF Gayle King, host of the CBS news morning talk show, and we've seen photos of her longtime boyfriend, Stedman Graham. But what about her children? Does this beloved TV show host have children? It wouldn't be the first time people have asked.
Oprah was born Orpah Gail Winfrey, but a mispronunciation changed her original biblical name to Oprah. Born in Kosciusko, Mississippi to Vernita Lee, Oprah had a difficult childhood of poverty and sexual abuse by family members. There was also a period of living in Nashville with her father Vernon Winfrey. For a time she lived in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with her grandmother and other relatives. Her single mother was working long days as a maid.
When she was 14, Oprah got pregnant, but the baby boy died soon after a premature birth. Oprah's father pushed her to excel academically and was a positive force in her life. Oprah credits her father with saving her life with his guidance. Oprah went on to attend Tennessee State University to study communication, which ended up being a college degree put to good use.
By the time she was 19, Oprah was hired by a CBS-affiliated news station and became the first African American female co-anchor in Nashville. She went on to Baltimore, Maryland to co-anchor the WJZ-TV evening news. With a little help from Phil Donahue, she also snagged her own show on AM Chicago. There's the Oprah Winfrey Show, her production company, Harpo Productions (Oprah spelled backwards), and her Academy Award nomination for her role in The Color Purple.
Her Wikipedia career accomplishments are downright dizzying. She's won more than 18 Emmy Awards and Golden Globes for daytime and nighttime television. She's famous for her weight loss, representing Weight Watchers for awhile. She was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Obama in 2008. She started Oprah Magazine and the Oprah Winfrey Network, accurately named the OWN Network because it seems that everything Oprah touches, she owns. In a good way.
In addition to Oprah magazine, Oprah herself has authored or co-authored five books. Any lucky author that has their book selected for the Oprah book club has their work shoot up the New York Times Bestseller list.
This media mogul is truly larger than life. Most recently making headlines for that sit-down ABC special event TV show with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, you really saw her brilliant interviewing skills as Harry and Meghan dropped royal bomb after royal bomb in their new California home.
But Does Oprah Winfrey Have Children?
Ironically, all those successful years as the talk show host of The Oprah Winfrey Show helped her make the decision NOT to have children after she met Stedman Graham.
In a People magazine interview, Oprah talked about this serious decision. "At one point in Chicago, I had bought an additional apartment because I was thinking, 'Well, if we get married, I'm going to need room for children." But she was honest with herself about the life she wanted for herself and for Stedman. She explained,
"I realized, 'Whoa, I'm talking to a lot of messed-up people, and they are messed up because they had mothers and fathers who were not aware of how serious that job is I don't have the ability to compartmentalize the way I see other women do. It is why, throughout my years, I have had the highest regard for women who choose to be at home [with] their kids, because I don't know how you do that all day long, Nobody gives women the credit they deserve."
A Different Maternal Instinct
Oprah's rags to riches story has much to do with education and opportunity. To continue her philanthropic work and create her legacy, she opened the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in 2007. This school uplifts impoverished and orphaned girls in South Africa. The school is completely free in addition to providing food, clothing, and any other essentials, and is often funded by charity events.
Oprah has said that her maternal instincts are satisfied through her girls at the school. The school doesn't just have her name on the building. She is like a mother to them, and a few of them even came to live with her at her Santa Barbara home when their universities shut down during the coronavirus pandemic.
Those young girls are incredibly lucky to have Oprah Winfrey supporting them, but it sounds like Oprah gets just as much from them as they do from this superstar. The next time you turn on your Apple TV or YouTube one of her shows, remember that she's looking after more than her talk show guests.