1. What is Oprah Winfrey's net worth?

Although Winfrey has company today, she takes the title for being the world's first black woman to have achieved billionaire status. Most recent estimates put her net worth at $2.6 billion, according to Forbes.

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. Trump

Oprah Winfrey may be a billionaire, but her billions don't add up quite as much as former President Donald Trump's. Trump's latest net worth is estimated at $3 billion, thanks to his recent investment in Turth Social.

Winfrey's wealth does beat that of reality tv star-turned businesswoman Kim Kardashian ($1.8 billion), Facebook COO Sheryl Sandbert ($1.6 billion) and musican Riihanna ($1.4 billion) among other moguls, according to Forbes.

3. Her first job paid 50 cents an hour

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

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 was 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


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

Lafayette - Circa April 2017: Weight Watchers Meeting Location. Oprah Winfrey is a Weight Watchers Spokesperson and Stockholder IV
Jonathan Weiss / Shutterstock
Oprah Winfrey's investment in Weight Watchers has grown by more than nine times.

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.

7. Her success is contagious

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 alone is worth $460 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth.

8. She can sell books by the ton

Oprah Winfrey has written multiple New York TImes best-selling books, which earned her millions of dollars. But she isn't only a writer, but also the type 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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