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Winfrey's often emotional, extemporaneous delivery eventually led to her transfer to the daytime talk show arena, and after boosting a third-rated local Chicago talk show to first place, By the mid-1990s, Winfrey had reinvented her show with a focus on literature, self-improvement, mindfulness and spirituality.Though she was criticized for unleashing a confession culture, promoting controversial self-help ideas, Born Orpah Gail Winfrey, her first name was spelled Orpah (not Oprah) on her birth certificate after the biblical figure of that name in the Book of Ruth, but people mispronounced it regularly and "Oprah" stuck.However, the East Asian markers may, given the imprecision of genetic testing, actually be Native American.After Winfrey's birth, her mother traveled north, and Winfrey spent her first six years living in rural poverty with her maternal grandmother, Hattie Mae (Presley) Lee (April 15, 1900 – February 27, 1963), who was so poor that Winfrey often wore dresses made of potato sacks, for which the local children made fun of her.At age six, Winfrey moved to an inner-city neighborhood in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with her mother, who was less supportive and encouraging than her grandmother had been, largely as a result of the long hours she worked as a maid.
When Winfrey was a child, her grandmother would hit her with a stick when she did not do chores or if she misbehaved in any way.She was then recruited to join Richard Sher as co-host of WJZ's local talk show People Are Talking, which premiered on August 14, 1978.She also hosted the local version of Dialing for Dollars.She began attending Lincoln High School in Milwaukee, but after early success in the Upward Bound program, was transferred to the affluent suburban Nicolet High School, where she says her poverty was constantly rubbed in her face as she rode the bus to school with fellow African-Americans, some of whom were servants of her classmates' families.She began to steal money from her mother in an effort to keep up with her free-spending peers, to lie to and argue with her mother, and to go out with older boys.
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1933), a coal miner turned barber turned city councilman who had been in the Armed Forces when she was born. A genetic test in 2006 determined that her matrilineal line originated among the Kpelle ethnic group, in the area that today is Liberia.