Oxford AASC: Photo Essay

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PHOTO ESSAY

Blacks in Film and Television

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Oprah Winfrey in her studio office, 1985

Courtesy of AP

Oprah Winfrey began her career in Nashville, Tennessee, in the early 1970s and by the 1980s she had become a household name. Oprah is one of the most influential women in the entertainment business—some would say the world—and with a fortune valued at well over a billion dollars, she is certainly one of the richest. The stretch of Oprah's influence can be felt in many ways, from the additional sales authors can expect from being picked for the Oprah Book Club, to her magazines and radio shows, or her humanitarian efforts. Most recently she became more directly involved in politics when she campaigned in support of Barack Obama as the next president of the United States. The stretch of Oprah's influence on America is perhaps best exemplified by her confrontation with the large and politically powerful cattle industry. In 1998 Oprah was blamed—and subsequently sued—by the cattle industry for causing beef sales to plummet when she announced that she wasn't eating beef due to her fear of contracting Mad Cow Disease.

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