Happy Birthday, Oprah! 5 Things You Didn't Know About the Media Mogul and Philanthropist

Happy Birthday Oprah Winfrey!


As the visionary and leader behind OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network and formerly the supervising producer and host The Oprah Winfrey Show, Oprah has inspired millions to live their best lives. Her accomplishments as a global media leader and philanthropist have established her as one of the most respected and admired public figures today. 


While you're probably already pretty familiar with Oprah, she shared some facts with MAKERS that you might not know.


1. Oprah is excellent at stain removal.

Oprah is gifted with the art of stain removal, especially with dog poop. Her gift definitely comes in handy with five dogs in her house. You read that correctly: she has five dogs. In her downtime, she loves to spend time with her dogs and a good book. Oh, and Stedman, too. 


2. Oprah's grandma thought she would grow up to be a maid.

Growing up in rural poverty, no one could have imagined what Oprah would become. Becoming a maid was seen as the best outcome. Her grandma even said to her that she hoped she'd "get some good white folks when you grow up, they treat you right. Treat you nice."


3. In 1986, Oprah surprised her staff with $10,000 of her own money in bonuses wrapped in toilet paper rolls.

When the higher-ups told Oprah they wouldn't give her staff a raise because they were largely "girls," Oprah took things into her own hands. For her big Christmas party, she put her own $10,000 toward staff bonuses and wrapped it in toilet paper rolls. While her staff was certainly happy, the treatment from her bosses was a major decision factor that led Oprah to owning her own show.


4. At 16, Oprah already had her first job in radio.

At the time, she could not have imagined what her career would develop into, but now Winfrey talks about the powerful benefits of thinking of your work, whether you're a pharmacist or a television host, in terms of how you can "serve."


5. Maya Angelou gave her one of the most meaningful pieces of advice she's received.

That piece of wisdom was, "When people show you who they are, believe them the first time."


Happy birthday, Oprah!


Watch more of her MAKERS videos here.