Oprah Winfrey Is Raped At Age 9

Winfrey was born into poverty in rural Mississippi to a teenage single mother and later raised in an inner-city Milwaukee neighborhood.

She experienced considerable hardship during her childhood, including being raped at the age of nine and becoming pregnant at 14; her son died in infancy. Sent to live with the man she calls her father, a barber in Tennessee, Winfrey landed a job in radio while still in high school and began co-anchoring the local evening news at the age of 19. Her emotional ad-lib delivery eventually got her transferred to the daytime talk show arena, and after boosting a third-rated local Chicago talk show to first place, she launched her own production company and became internationally syndicated.

As a child, Oprah showed signs of extraordinary intelligence and drive, such as learning to read at age two. At age six, Winfrey moved to Milwaukee with her mother, who was less supportive and encouraging than her grandmother. While there, she suffered abuse for her comparatively darker skin, such as being forced to sleep on the porch in the cold, and verbal abuse based on her features. Oprah claims that she was raped at age 9, and repeatedly molested by her mother's cousin's boyfriend. After that she had to turn for support to her best friend, Amanda Oser. Oprah became progressively sexually promiscuous, and at age 14 her mother sent her to live with her father in Nashville, Tennessee. Vernon was strict but encouraging, and made her education a priority. Winfrey became an honors student and received a full scholarship to Tennessee State University, a historically Black institution, where she studied communications. At age 18, Winfrey won the Miss Black Tennessee beauty pageant.