Oprah Winfrey’s net worth in 2018 is an estimated $2.9 billion, and she could possibly head to the Oval Office in 2020. After her rousing Golden Globes speech, speculation is rife about Miss O running for president—and she’s already a frontrunner!
When we picture Oprah Winfrey’s business card, we imagine it reads “Queen of All Media.” Going by a recent poll, she could be adding Commander-in-Chief, that is if she really runs in 2020!
With a staggering net worth of $2.9 billion and rising, Oprah Winfrey is the stuff of legends. But how did Miss O go from rags to one of the only female African-American billionaires in the world?
Keep reading to find out how Oprah is so rich.
How The Oprah Winfrey Show Made Miss O Rich
- Born Orpah Gail Winfrey on January 29, 1954, the Mississippi native’s name was mispronounced “Oprah,” until it stuck; her mother was a housemaid and Winfrey grew up in rural poverty.
- She was so poor that she wore dresses made from potato sacks, for which the other kids mocked her.
- Winfrey worked in a radio station through high school and college; she chose to major in media given her oratory talent and passion for the stage.
- As a news anchor in Nashville, Baltimore, and Chicago, she worked her way up the ranks.
- Winfrey took over as host of a morning talk show at an ABC-affiliate Chicago station; it was renamed The Oprah Winfrey Show and was broadcast nationally in 1986.
- The show was syndicated and made into an hour-long broadcast, building ratings and revenue.
- At 32, she was the first African-American host to be nationally syndicated and a millionaire, earning $30.0 million annually in the ‘80s; that number increased 10-fold in 2018.
- Winfrey became a producer after launching Harpo Studios in 1988, the first African-American to own a major studio.
- As an actress, her most recently lauded performance was in The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks; she also voiced a character in Princess and the Frog.
- The media mogul branched into print with the launch of her successful magazine, O, The Oprah Magazine, which reportedly generates $1.0 billion in consumer revenue every year.
- Winfrey expanded her media empire by publishing books and producing critically-acclaimed movies.
- She started OWN (The Oprah Winfrey Network), a woman-driven cable network; she sold $70.0 million worth of stake in OWN to Discovery Communications.
- Winfrey launched Oprah.com to bring all her various works to one website.
- After her show came to an end, her biggest money-making venture is Weight Watchers; the weight loss company keeps her waist smaller and her bank account massive.
- Winfrey bought 10% of the firm in 2015 for $43.0 million; her shares are now worth $365.0 million.
- She signed a deal with XM Satellite Radio for $55.0 million to launch the Oprah Radio channel.
- Winfrey also makes big money in real estate with properties in Santa Barbara, Maui, Colorado and Nashville.
Here’s an illustration of Oprah Winfrey’s wealth below:
|Oprah Winfrey’s Net Worth||$2.9 billion|
|Oprah Winfrey’s annual salary||$315.0 million|
|Profits from The Oprah Winfrey Show||$2.0 billion|
|Weight Watchers stake||$365.0 million|
|Total real estate holdings||$210.0 million|
|Winfrey’s share of OWN||$75.0 million|
|Value of Harpo Studios||$150.0 million|
|Oprah Winfrey’s home in Montecito, California||$50.0 million|
|Montecito farm||$29.0 million|
|Colorado ski resort||$14.0 million|
Oprah’s Heart of Gold
- Winfrey is one of the biggest philanthropists in the world who ranks among the 50 most generous Americans.
- She gives out scholarships and built The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa; she donated over $400.0 million to education causes by 2012.
- Winfrey’s had astounding giveaways on her show in collaboration with sponsors; to celebrate two decades on TV, she took her staff and their families (around 1,000 people in total) on a trip to Hawaii.
- She donated $12.0 million to the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.
- Her organization, Oprah’s Angel Network supported charities and provided grants to non-profits all over the world; it raised $80.0 million in funds for its causes.
- The Angel Network raised $11.0 million for Hurricane Katrina relief efforts, and Winfrey donated an additional $11.0 million.
The following table illustrates Oprah Winfrey’s net worth over the years.
|September 2014||$3.0 billion|
|September 2015||$3.0 billion|
|March 2016||$3.0 billion|
|June 2016||$3.1 billion|
|October 2016||$2.8 billion|
|March 2017||$3.0 billion|
|May 2017||$2.9 billion|
|October 2017||$3.0 billion|