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1. What is Oprah Winfrey's net worth?

Oprah Winfrey
Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock

Oprah Winfrey's estimated net worth is $2.8 billion, according to Forbes. Although she's not the only billionaire out there, she does take the title for being the world's first Black woman to have achieved billionaire status.

She amassed her fortune through hard work on The Oprah Winfrey Show (which ran for 25 seasons) and some very smart investing.

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2. Oprah vs. other women billionaires

Rihanna at the Met Gala 2023
NDZ Star Max / Getty

Although Oprah is the first self-made, Black, woman billionaire, she is not rich enough to make Forbes' Top 400, which in 2024 had a minimum threshold of $6.8 billion.

Winfrey's wealth does beat that of reality-tv-star-turned businesswoman Kim Kardashian ($1.7 billion), former Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg ($1.8 billion) and musician Rihanna ($1.4 billion) among other moguls, according to Forbes.

Oprah also placed 31st overall in a Forbes' ranking of the world's 100 most powerful women.

3. Her first job paid 50 cents an hour

Oprah Winfrey
Wikimedia Commons

Winfrey landed her first paying job when she was 15: "babysitting Mrs. Ashberry's rowdy kids," she writes on Oprah.com. She says she was underpaid at 50 cents an hour, because Mrs. Ashberry expected her to tidy up the house, too.

Next, she made $1.50 an hour working at a five-and-dime. When she was 17, she got her first break in broadcasting: a radio job that paid $100 a week.

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4. 'The Oprah Winfrey Show' paid off

Harpo Studios Oprah Winfrey Show sign in Chicago
Susan Montgomery / Shutterstock

Winfrey started her TV career as a news anchor, but she would would empathize so much with the stories she heard from people that she would cry on the air. Her move to talk-show host seemed a natural step.

The Oprah Winfrey Show’s massive success helped her earn $30 million dollars a year when she was in her 30s. By the time the show ended in May 2011, she was making $315 million a year — or $10 a second!

5. What the 'you get a car!' stunt cost

via GIPHY

Oprah kicked off a new season of her show in 2004 with one of the most delirious moments in TV history. She told all 276 people in her audience that “You get a car, and you get a car!

The giveaway of new Pontiac G-6 cars cost General Motors an estimated $7.9 million, and the company covered sales taxes, too. But the winners owed income tax of up to around $7,000 each on their prizes.

6. She's a savvy investor

Oprah Winfrey at a Warner Brothers' event
Greg Doherty / Getty

In 2015, Winfrey purchased 10% of Weight Watchers’ for $6.79 per share, or $43 million total. By January of 2018, the shares were trading for about $63, more than nine times what she paid.

She also invests in real estate. She curently owns or has owned homes in many states, including California, Florida, Washington state, Colorado, Tennessee, Illinois and Hawaii.

More: Best investing books

7. Her success is contagious

LOS ANGELES - MAY 13: Dr Phil McGraw at a ceremony where Steve Harvey is honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame on May 13, 2013 in Los Angeles, California
Joe Seer / Shutterstock

Many of the biggest stars on daytime TV have Oprah to thank for their careers, including Rachael Ray, Dr. Phil, Nate Berkus and Dr. Oz.

All were introduced to the public on The Oprah Winfrey Show and have seen incredible success.

Dr. Phil is worth $460 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth, while Ray's cooking empire has served up a $100 million fortune.

8. She can sell books by the ton

Oprah Winfrey accepting an award
Frazer Harrison Getty

Oprah Winfrey has written multiple New York TImes best-selling books, which earned her millions of dollars. She isn't only a writer, but also the kind of vivacious reader other authors love.

The book club she launched on her show in 1996 helped sell an estimated 55 million copies of the 70 titles she promoted, reports USA Today.

9. Magazines, too

KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA - MAY 19, 2017: Lifestyle and women fashion magazine are displayed in a bookstore in an airport.
AsiaTravel / Shutterstock
Oprah Winfrey's magazine has been a huge success — like everything else she touches.

Oprah didn’t stop at books. In 2000, she introduced O, The Oprah Magazine, a monthly that you can't help noticing at the supermarket checkout because Winfrey is on every cover.

According to Women’s Wear Daily, consumers paid $1 billion for O subscriptions and newsstand copies during the magazine's first 15 years.

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About the Author

Shannon Quinn

Shannon Quinn

Freelance Contributor

Shannon Quinn was formerly a freelance contributor to Moneywise. Quinn is an entrepreneur and writer from the Philadelphia area.

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