Life, Love, and Dirty Diapers

The Women in Time’s Most Influential List 2011: Oprah Winfrey

All right, here is another woman who I feel is super famous. Oprah Winfrey. Let’s dive in.

  • Best known for having her own talk show (The Oprah Winfrey Show), which ran from 1986 until 2011.
  • In American history, she is the greatest black philanthropist.
  • She is thought to be a big influence on the talk show as a genre.
  • Some experts think that her endorsement of Barack Obama led to over a million votes for him in the Democratic primary. Just because she endorsed him.
  • She owns her own production company – Harpo Productions.
  • She co-founded the tv channel Oxygen.
  • In 2011, she launched OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network, her own tv channel.
  • Her website gets an average of 70 million page views per month and 20,000 e-mails every week.
  • She has her own XM Satellite Radio channel.
  • Apparently, she has been appearing on Time’s Most Influential List since 2004 and is the only person who has been on it in all those years from 2004-2011.
  • She has two of her own terms (coined by other people):
    • Oprahfication: This is defined as confessing something in public for therapy.
    • “The Oprah Effect”: This is defined as her ability to influence people to do something (especially to buy something).
  • She has been able to raise millions of dollars for charity.

I definitely think Oprah is influential – almost scary influential in my opinion. I don’t know how she had managed to do what she does, to get the kind of following she has, and to have so many people think that her opinion is trustworthy. But she has. Actually, I think she is kind of a good example of what influential looks like, just because she is so influential. In fact, some sources I read even named her as the number one most influential person in the world and I don’t know if I agree that she’s number one, but it is true that she has TONS of influence. Just think about how many people are e-mailing her and visiting her website. That means whatever she puts on her website is being seen that many times. And then you have the people who watch her tv show and her tv channel, the people who read her magazine, and the people who listen to her radio show. That is a lot of people combined. How many other people have that kind of reach? Even her book club. Do you know when she introduces a book on her book club that it usually gets 1 million more in sales at least? Who else can do that? I don’t know if I’m an Oprah fan, but I would be wrong to dismiss her as not influential because clearly she is highly influential. I bet you even that if she ever decided to run for president (which I doubt she would), she could easily become president even if she didn’t associate herself with a political party – that’s how much influence I think she has.


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