Oprah Winfrey was born January 29, 1954 in Mississippi to teenage unwed parents Vernita Lee and Vernon Winfrey. Vernita worked as a housemaid, and sent her to live with her grandmother for the first 6 years of her life. Her grandmother taught her to read before the age of three...Read more and gave her a strict upbringing. After she turned six, Oprah was sent to live with her mom in Miluakee, but Vernita proved to be neglectful and inattentive of Oprah, resulting in her sexual abuse and molestation by family members. Oprah ran away from home at the age of 15, but her mom caught up with her and sent her to live with her father in Tennessee. It was that moment that she attributes to her life changing for the better, as her father was strict and put a heavy emphasis on education. Winfrey became an honors student, was voted Most Popular Girl, joined her high school speech team at East Nashville High School, placing second in the nation in dramatic interpretation. She won an oratory contest, which secured her a full scholarship to Tennessee State University, where she studied communication. She also attracted the attention of the local black radio station, WVOL, which hired her to do the news part-time. She worked there during her senior year of high school, and again while in her first two years of college. Working in local media, she was both the youngest news anchor and the first black female news anchor at Nashville's WLAC-TV. She moved to Baltimore's WJZ-TV in 1976 to co-anchor the six o'clock news. In 1983, Winfrey relocated to Chicago to host WLS-TV's low-rated morning talk show, AM Chicago. Within months after Winfrey took over, the show went from last place in the ratings to overtaking Donahue as the highest rated talk show in Chicago. It was renamed The Oprah Winfrey Show, expanded to a full hour, and broadcast nationally beginning September 8, 1986. This show later became the highest-rated program of its kind in history. In 1985, Winfrey made her film acting debut, co-starring in Steven Spielberg's The Color Purple. In 1998, Winfrey produced and starred in the film Beloved, based on Toni Morrison's Pulitzer Prize winning novel of the same name. In 2013, she co-starred alongside Oscar-winner Forest Whitaker in Lee Daniels' “The Butler.” Winfrey became a millionaire at age 32 when her talk show went national. At age 41, Winfrey had a net worth of $340 million. In 2000, her net worth was $800 million, making her the richest African American of the 20th century. Winfrey was the highest paid TV entertainer in the United States in 2006, earning an estimated $260 million during the year, five times the sum earned by second-place music executive Simon Cowell. By 2008, her yearly income had increased to $275 million. Forbes' international rich list has listed Winfrey as the world's only black billionaire from 2004 to 2006 and as the first black woman billionaire in world history. According to Forbes, in September 2010 Winfrey was worth over $2.7 billion and has overtaken former eBay CEO Meg Whitman as the richest self-made woman in America.