One must know not just how to accept a gift, but with what grace to share it – Maya Angelou. This quote highlights why philanthropy is the art of giving to another person. Some people may ask what is philanthropy. Google defines it as the desire to promote the welfare of others, expressed especially by the generous donation of money to good causes. One person that would be a clear example of this is Oprah Winfrey.
Oprah Winfrey’s childhood was a rough one something no child should have to endure. While living with her mother as a child she was sexually assaulted and abused by family members this caused severe emotional pain. People started noticing that she was acting out and making bad grades. After her father learned what had happened she moved in with him and her life turned around. Her behavioral issues ceased to exists and she started making good grades. This propelled her to attend Tennessee State University where she studied Speech Communications and Performing Arts. She was able to attend on a full ride scholarship that she won from the Elks Club speaking contest. Eventually she was recruited by a Chicago news station to host a morning show. Her audience begin to grow significantly and she was offered her own show. Soon thereafter she was offered ownership and started Harpo Productions.
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The Oprah Winfrey show aired for 25 years. While there she gave opportunities to unknown authors during her segment titled Oprah’s Book Club. She also starred in the Color Purple where she was nominated for best supporting actress in 1986 at the Oscars. The same year that the Oprah Winfrey show ended she started the Oprah Winfrey Network. This network has produced shows such as Queen Sugar, Greenleaf, and The Haves and the Have Nots.
Over the years Oprah has donated millions of dollars. Including donating over 50 million to her charity the ‘Oprah’s Angel Network’ a charitable organization that encourages people to make a difference and be the change around the world. She also built a school called Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls. The school has state of the art technology, science labs and a library. Her goal is to allow the girls access to a free, and stable education that will allow them to be successful in the world and see themselves for who they truly are. This is one of Oprah’s largest charity project. Some other examples of her generosity include relief for victims of hurricane Katrina and donating $500,000 to the March For Our Lives campaign led by students who wanted tighter gun control laws. She also is a top donor to the National Museum of African American History and Culture, which is the only national museum devoted only to African American life, history, and culture. In 1994 Oprah had the idea to compile a database of child abusers nationwide the law was signed by Congress and passed.
Oprah Winfrey is an extremely accomplished person, woman, and African American. She has received numerous awards and accolades. She has been called the richest African-American of the 20th century and was the only black billionaire for three consecutive years. She was the first recipient of the Academy of Television Arts and Science’ Bob Hope Humanitarian award, called the most influential women of her generation by Life Magazine, and the first black women to be honored with the Golden Globe Cecil B. DeMille Award for Lifetime achievement. She was also named the Greatest Black philanthropist in American history by Business Weekly and last but not least she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom this is the highest civilian award in the United States.
In conclusion Oprah Winfrey has changed the world for the better. She knocked down cultural barriers and became one of the greatest women in the 20th century. This is why I chose Oprah Winfrey as the greatest philanthropist in world history.
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