Oprah Gail Winfrey is called one of the most influential people in the world. Her accomplishments are many: America’s first African-American billionaire; multi-award winning television talk show queen (the Oprah Winfrey show); world class humanitarian; founder of Oprah Winfrey’s Leadership School for Girls in South Africa to name a few. The life of this media superstar is captured in a visually stimulating graphic novel format. The oversized panels and easy-to-read text will appeal to both young, modern readers and comic book fans. Like a puzzle, this graphic biography pieces together the parts of Oprah’s traumatic childhood with her early career successes.
As a child, Oprah Winfrey was shuffled around from her grandmother on a poor Mississippi farm, to her mom in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to her dad in Nashville, Tennessee. Oprah started reading aloud and performing in church at the age of three and was so smart she skipped two grades in school. Her father, Vernon Winfrey, demanded all A’s on her report card. Yet she was a troubled child, suffering sexual abuse at the age of nine. Despite her low self-esteem, Oprah found the courage to enter a state beauty contest hosted by a local radio station. On stage Oprah told the world she wanted to be a broadcast journalist because she believed in proclaiming the truth to the world. To her surprise, Oprah won! That experience led to jobs on the radio and television to her role in the movie The Color Purple.
The graphic novel format allows readers to see the inspirational words coming straight from Oprah herself, encouraging people to “create the highest, grandest vision possible” and don’t be afraid to “dream big”. Oprah Winfrey: The Life of a Media Superstar
is part of a fascinating Graphic Biographies series that includes a Glossary and a list of other books for further reading. The book is a good educational tool for reluctant readers who are less likely to read a full-length biography.
South Africa, the home of Oprah Winfrey’s Leadership School for Girls, is also the country where Nelson Mandela was born. Read more about him in his biography The Long Walk to Freedom
(see link below).