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Television personality, actress and media entrepreneur Oprah Winfrey with producer and composer Quincy Jones in New York City, 1995.
What It Takes is an audio podcast on i Tunes produced by the American Academy of Achievement featuring intimate, revealing conversations with influential leaders in the diverse fields of endeavor: music, science and exploration, sports, film, technology, literature, the military and social justice.
Born to an unwed teenage mother, Oprah Winfrey spent her first years on her grandmother’s farm in Kosciusko, Mississippi, while her mother looked for work in the North.
Life on the farm was primitive, but her grandmother taught her to read very early, and at age three Oprah was reciting poems and Bible verses in local churches.
Despite the hardships of her physical environment, she enjoyed the loving support of her grandmother and the church community, who cherished her as a gifted child.
At age 17, Oprah Winfrey won the Miss Black Tennessee beauty pageant and was offered an on-air job at WVOL, a radio station serving the African American community in Nashville.