Being The Mistreated Daughter Of A Maid And Losing Her Own Child, Made Her The World’s Richest Woman

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Today we are shining the spotlight on a woman who deserves praise. Her blessings were never handed to her, nor did they come easy. The accomplished actress and media queen has defied all kinds of odds and has single handedly taken down every barrier put in her path. She suffered and she struggled from tragedy to tragedy from the second that she was born.

Yet she didn’t let her tragic story define her. She did everything in her power to turn her life around. Little did she know, the mistreated child would then become the world’s richest woman.

Born To A Teenage Housemaid

housekeeper tidies up pillows with gloves on

Cotton Bro / Unsplash

Cotton Bro / Unsplash

The woman of the hour was born January 29, 1954, in Kosciusko, Mississippi to young parents. Her mother was still not even a fully grown adult, giving birth at the tender age of 18 while her father was also just discovering the harsh reality of the world at age 20.

Her mother worked as a teenage maid, trying to provide for herself. Both parents were not in a relationship together, so the baby was sent to live with her grandmother while the mother went to work.

Her Grandmother Disclipned Her In The Harshest Ways

old woman walking street with cane

David Monje / Unsplash

David Monje / Unsplash

The grandmother went by the name Hattie Mae and she was known to be strict. Maybe it was an attempt to protect the now growing baby, as to shield her from the same outcome that her mother endured. Growing up as a girl in rural Mississippi, she was to taught to read by her grandmother and brought to church

It didn’t take long for her community to notice her remarkable intelligence as she read passages aloud. Even in school, she was asked to skip Kindergarten and quickly moved to first grade. This wouldn’t’ be the only grade she skips as she surpasses her peers.

It Still Wasn’t Enough

potato sack pile

Thomas Thompson / Unsplash

Thomas Thompson / Unsplash

Yet, despite her early success, he grandmother would sill beat her with a cane for the smallest mistakes. The poor girl’s life felt like hell both at home and at school.

Because of how poor she was, her peers also made her life difficult by making fun of her cheap clothes, often made from potato sacks and named her “Slack girl.” She couldn’t catch a break and didn’t know how to escape.

Her Mother Put Her Sister Up For Adoption For Being Too Poor

Mart Productions / Unsplash

Mart Productions / Unsplash

Although she is rich now, the girl’s mother was so poor that she put one of her daughters up for adoption. The now TV host didn’t even know she had a half sister till decades later.

Instead, she continued to live with her grandma who was progressively getting sicker. Eventually, the seven year old had to move back in with her mother.This would be a difficult time where she was neglected and mistreated by her own family so she acted out.

She Ran Away At 13

young woman walking in fall leaves with a hoodie on

Dmitry Schemele / Unsplash

Dmitry Schemele / Unsplash

Eventually, the young girl turned 13 and learned that she was pregnant so she ran away from home to live with her father. She was at her most vulnerable and felt unwelcome by her own mother at home. Her mother had tried to send her to a dentition center but even they didn’t have room for her and didn’t take her.

Her dad would be her first glimmer hope and the first hand in turning her life around.

But The Baby Died

silhouette of a young pregnant woman

Mustafa Omar / Unsplash

Mustafa Omar / Unsplash

The young girl was so ashamed of her pregnancy that she refused to tell anyone about it. She didn’t even tell her father about it till she was seven months pregnant.

That same day, she went into labour and give birth to a very premature baby boy. Due to the complications that come with such a pregnancy, the baby died in the hospital a few weeks later. This would be the turning event in this woman’s life. This was the moment that she went from being a nobody to a name that we all now recognize.

Her Name Became Known In Every Household As Oprah Winfrey

Young Oprah images from the 90s

Ron Davis/ Getty | Afro Newspaper/Gado / Getty

Ron Davis/ Getty | Afro Newspaper/Gado / Getty

Upon hearing of her story, tabloids bought it for thousands of dollars. Oprah gained confidence and she felt like she finally could take control over her own narrative. She started joining beauty pageants that brought her to television at a still young age. Oprah found a love for TV hosting and went on to become the first African American female news anchor in Nashville. She even left left Tennessee State University to take the job at just 19 years old.

Oprah’s ratings quickly surpassed the then show legend Phil Donahue viewer numbers,. The ratings were so impressive that in 1985 the network decided to rename the show: “The Oprah Winfrey Show.”

From Tragedy Came Success

Oprah givig speech on stages by forest backdrop

Tom Cooper / Getty

Tom Cooper / Getty

Oprah Winfrey is now a billionaire who came from humble beginnings. Her early life was full of tragedy but it taught her the lessons and gave her the skills to be the incredibly successful woman that she is today.

Oprah Winfrey wasn’t a one time hit. She has transitioned her hit talk show, which ran for 25 years, into a media and business empire. Then, she continued to be an inspiration for women everywhere through the ‘Oprah effect’ a weight watchers program that has helped many. She is truly an inspiration.

Are You Still Searching For Your Life’s Purpose?

Oprah and Jennifer Lopez speak onstage during 'Oprah's 2020 Vision: Your Life in Focus Tour' presented by WW (Weight Watchers Reimagined) at The Forum on February 29, 2020 i

Emma McIntyre / Getty

Emma McIntyre / Getty

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Higher Perspectives Author

Higher Perspectives Author is one of the authors writing for Higher Perspectives