Oprah Winfrey was born on January 29, 1954 in Kosciusko, Mississippi and was raised by her grandmother for the first few years of her life. At 6, Oprah moved to a dangerous neighborhood in Milwaukee to live with her mother and half brothers, and at 12, she moved to Nashville, Tennessee to live with her father.
Oprah was sent to live with her mother as a teenager before once again being sent back to her father's house due to her poor behavior. During her time with her mother, she was repeatedly sexually abused and had a difficult time living in poverty. Her mother did not have a lot of time for her. When she went back to live with her father, he implemented a lot of positive structure in her life by requiring her to complete book reports every week and learn five new words everyday. She has stated that her father saved her life and that she knew from a young age she wanted to be paid to talk.
She became an outstanding student after that and participated in several clubs at school and student council. She attended Tennessee State University on a full scholarship and attended a White House Conference on Youth.