The Oprah Show Timeline

1983 Moved to Chicago, Illinois in late 1983 in preparation to host the talk show A.M. Chicago for WLS-TV

1984 January 2: First episode of A.M. Chicago. Show was extremely successful in the ratings
The show is later renamed “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” expanded from 30 minutes to an hour, and begins national broadcast in 1986.

1985 Continued to work on the Oprah Winfrey Show
Starred in the Steven Spielberg movie ‘The Color Purple’ as the character Sofia

1986 Nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in ‘The Color Purple’ but lost to Anjelica Huston
September 8: Her show expands to one hour and broadcast nationally. It was nominated for several Emmy awards
Formed her own television production company called Harpo Productions
Received the National Organization for Women’s Women of Achievement Award.
Starred in the movie ‘Native Son’ as Janet Thomason

1987 February 9: Her much acclaimed episode from her show was aired from Forsyth County, Georgia, where no blacks had been allowed to live since 1912.
Oprah won her first Emmy for best talk/service show host and best show.
Cameo role in the Danny DeVito movie Throw Momma from the Train

1988 Named Broadcaster of the Year by the International Television and Radio Society
Harpo Productions which obtained ownership and production responsibilities for her show from ABC-TV station, WLS in Chicago
Bought her Chicago apartmet and her farm in Indiana.
Appeared in the TV program Pee-wee’s Playhouse Christmas Special as herself

1989 Starred as Mattie Michael in the movie The Women of Brewster Place (she was also executive producer)
Received the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People’s Entertainer of the year  award and went on to receive their Image Award 4 times from 1989 to 1992
Her half brother, Jeffrey Lee, sadly died of AIDS.

1990 Appeared in the TV program Brewster Place as Mattie Michael
Starred in the movie Listen Up: The Lives of Quincy Jones (documentary)

1991 Initiated the National Child Protection Act and testified before Congress
Appointed chef Rosie Daley to supervise a new and healthier diet.

1992 Won Best Talk Show Host at the Daytime Emmy Awards
1992 Appeared in the TV program The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Episode, A Night at the Oprah
Worked on Lincoln as narrator of the TV documentary
Became engaged to Stedman Graham, a public relations executive
Appointed Bob Greene to supervise her exercise program

1993 Hosted an interview with Michael Jackson which reached an audience of one hundred million.
President Bill Clinton signed the National Child Protection Act which had been strongly supported by Oprah.
Appeared in the TV program There Are No Children Here role as LaJoe Rivers

1994 Won Best Talk Show and Best Talk Show Host at the 21st Annual Daytime Emmy Awards
Became co-author of the book In The Kitchen With Rosie: Oprah’s Favorite Recipes by Rosie Daley and Oprah Winfrey

1995 Became the first woman and the only black on Forbes list of 400 richest Americans. She has remained the only black person to rank among America’s 400 richest people nearly every year since 1995

Won an Emmy for Best Talk Show and Best Host for the second year in a row.

“Oprah Online” started on American Online (AOL) in partnership with ABC

1996 Became co-author of the book A Journal of Daily Renewal : The Companion to Make the Connection, by Bob Greene and Oprah Winfrey
Received the prestigious George Foster Peabody’s Individual Achievement Award
April 16: The OW Show dealt with Mad Cow Disease in the United States which led to a court case
During a show about mad cow disease, says “It has just stopped me cold from eating another burger!” Texas cattlemen respond by suing her in 1998, saying she defamed food and disparaged business. Oprah wins the subsequent trial.
Introduces Oprah’s Book Club segment on her show, routinely creating best sellers of the selections.

September 16: Oprah announced the start of her successful on-air book club

1997 Formation of Oprah’s Angel Network encouraging people to make charitable contributions and volunteer work.

Delivered the commencements address to the Wellesley College Class of 1997
Appeared in the TV program Ellen – The Puppy Episode
Appeared in the TV program Before Women Had Wings role as Miss Zora (she was also producer)
Author of the book The Uncommon Wisdom of Oprah Winfrey : A Portrait in Her Own Words by Bill Adler (editor) and Oprah Winfrey

1998 February 26: Sucessfully defended herself in the food disparagement lawsuit brought by Texas cattlemen following the show about Mad Cow Disease
Received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Daytime Emmy Awards and an award for top talk show host. Starts Oprah’s Angel Network charity that has raised more than $51 million.
Formed Oxygen Media

Starred in the movie of the Toni Morrison novel, Beloved
Co-author of the book Journey to Beloved, by Oprah Winfrey and Ken Regan

1999 1999 Co-author of the book Make the Connection : Ten Steps to a Better Body and a Better Life, by Bob Greene and Oprah Winfrey

2002 In 2002 Fortune called O, the Oprah Magazine the most successful start-up ever in the industry.
Became the recipient of the first Bob Hope Humanitarian Award at the 2002 Emmy Awards for services to television and film.

2003 She was the narrator in the documentary Unchained Memories: Readings from the Slave Narratives

2004 The 2004 Nobel Peace Prize Concert was hosted by Oprah and Tom Cruise
Forbes’ international rich list has listed Winfrey as the world’s only black billionaire
Named by Time as one of the 100 people who most influenced the 20th century
She was the narrator in the documentary Brothers of the Borderland
Kicks off new season by giving each audience member a new G6 sedan donated by Pontiac.

2005 The Color Purple was made into a Broadway musical of which she was a producer
Forbes’ international rich list has listed Winfrey as the world’s only black billionaire
Became the first black listed by Business Week as one of America’s top 50 most generous philanthropists
Oprah’s Christmas Kindness was made to draw bring attention to the plight of young African children affected by poverty and AIDS.
Named by Time as one of the 100 most influential people of the year
Named as the greatest woman in American history as part of a public poll as part of The Greatest American in which she ranked in 9th place in the list of greatest Americans.
She was the narrator in the documentary Emmanuel’s Gift

2006 February 9: Signed 3-year contract with XM Satellite Radio to establish a new radio channel based in Chicago
Oprah & Friends, which begins broadcast the same year.
While appearing on “Larry King Live,” advances the notion of an as yet undeclared Barack Obama as U.S. President. She later interviews Obama and his wife on her show and repeats her endorsement. The U.S. Senator from Illinois becomes a candidate and wins the 2008 Presidential election.
Forbes’ international rich list has listed Winfrey as the world’s only black billionaire
Named by Time as one of the 100 most influential people of the year
Appeared in the TV program Drake & Josh in the episode Josh Meets Oprah
Appeared in Drake & Josh – Josh Meets Oprah
Starred in the movie Charlotte’s Web playing Gussy
Oprah currently lives on “The Promised Land”, her 42 acre estate in Montecito, California and also owns a house in Lavallette, New Jersey.

2007 Opens the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls near Johannesburg, South Africa, after investing $40 million.

2008 Announces deal with Discovery Communications to change Discovery Health Channel into the new OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network, which will debut in 2010.

2009 November 20 Oprah announced that the show will end 2011



    • lovebug35
    • November 20th, 2009

    its sad she is quitting.. I love her show.

    • nurys
    • November 29th, 2009

    Dear.Ms OPrah

    My name is nurys siceron and wish you the best all the years the lord has decided to allow you to live.
    We thank the lord each and every day for generous people like you.
    I work for murry Bergtraum HS. in New York and I work among a community of phisycally chalenge kids in which their is one in need of a special wheel chair,but the chair cost is to expency bacause, it has to be adapted to fit him specially.
    The month of September there was a program of wheel chairs donations but, his has specially for him designed.
    The student name is matheo.would you be willing to help us in order to get it or would you donate it to him. Iwould appreciated if you answer me if you need any other information.
    thank you and make God bless you

    • Anonymous
    • January 24th, 2010

    oprah i did not know that you were black u look really good and now I CANT BELIVE THAT U R QUITING I AM FUCKIN MAD = {

  1. Great “O”rama post about my favorite talk show host EVER!!!! I love and blog about her show (for a whole 5 days and counting now!)

    How did you come about starting to blog?

  1. November 26th, 2009

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