Oprah Winfrey

Topics: Oprah Winfrey, The Oprah Winfrey Show, Talk show Pages: 9 (2909 words) Published: April 1, 2013
Dear Professor,

The enclosed CEO Rhetorical Analysis Report was written per your request to research a Chief Executive Officer and analyze his or her leadership style. The CEO I chose is a successful woman who is well-known for her struggles in life and her greatest accomplishments on television. In 1988, after being in the television world for so many years in various fields (television host, anchor, actress, producer); she opened her own production company and became CEO at Harpo Production. I am pleased to tell you about Oprah Winfrey’s life story and how it influenced her leadership style as a CEO.

After fully analyzing Winfrey’s history and achievements, I’ve concluded that she entails a transformational leadership style. In just a few years she surpassed the head of the national talk show host in ratings and started the beginnings of her leadership style by revolutionizing the talk show genre, making positive changes for those around the world, and being charismatic to many individuals.

I have found Winfrey’s leadership style to be inspirational. She has made such a difference in the television network and continues to break barriers for others. Her leadership style has made her known as the one of the most influential woman in the world. If you would like to further discuss Winfrey’s background, leadership style, or have any questions please contact me via email or phone provided below.

Thank you,


American television host, actress, producer and CEO, Oprah Gail Winfrey, is known for being America’s favorite talk show host on the “The Oprah Winfrey Show”. She came from a troubled adolescence to become one of the most influential women in the world.



Oprah Gail Winfrey was born January 29, 1954 in rural Kosciusko, Mississippi to her young unmarried mother Vernita Lee and assumed father Vernon Winfrey. Vernita Lee, born in 1933, was a housemaid who gave birth, first to Oprah Gail, then to Patricia Lee (Winfrey’s half-sister), Jeffrey Lee (Winfrey’s half-brother) and lastly Patricia Lloyd (Winfrey’s half-sister), who it was later revealed had been given up for adoption. Vernon Winfrey, born in 1933, was a coal miner turned barber turned city councilman who had been in the Armed Forces when she was born. Soon after she was born, her parents got separated and left her behind with her maternal grandmother, Hattie Mae Lee (April 15, 1900 – February 27, 1963) for six years. Winfrey’s grandmother was a big supporter of her education and taught her how to read at the age of three. At a young age, Winfrey displayed her ability to be influential and entertaining. In kindergarten she wrote a letter to her teacher insisting that she belonged in the first grade and was then promoted shortly thereafter. At the age of six she was sent to live with her mother and her half-sister Patricia Lee at a boardinghouse in Milwaukee after her grandmother became ill. Unfortunately, her mother was not as supportive and encouraging of Winfrey’s education. After just over a year, Winfrey’s mother was having difficulties raising both children and sent her to Nashville, Tennessee to live with her father Vernon and stepmother Zelma. Both her father and stepmother were happy to have Winfrey live with them especially since they were unable to bear their own children. He encouraged Winfrey’s love of reading. She began at Wharton Elementary School and skipped a grade once again, placing her in the third grade. At the end of third grade, her father took Winfrey back to Milwaukee for a visit where she ended up staying to live with her mother, sister Patricia Lee (who later passed away from cocaine addiction in 2003) and newly born brother Jeffrey Lee (who later passed away from AIDS-related causes in 1989). At the age of 14, with little adult supervision, and unable to discuss her issues, Winfrey resorted to acting out, skipping school, stealing...
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