Published On: Jun 13 2011 09:45:45 AM CDTUpdated On: Jan 29 2016 03:00:00 AM CST
Oprah Winfrey has been part of the American cultural landscape for more than 30 years. Here's a look at some moments in the life of the media icon over the years.
Jan. 29, 1954: Winfrey (pictured as a youth on this PBS DVD release) was born in Kosciusko, Miss. Her name was spelled slightly different at birth -- Orpah.
1970s: Winfrey got her start in pageants by winning Nashville's Miss Fire Prevention contest in 1971, following that up a year later by winning the Miss Black Tennessee pageant and competing in the Miss Black America competition.
Dec. 18, 1985: Winfrey's first national exposure came in her role as Sofia in director Steven Spielberg's big-screen adaptation of "The Color Purple." The performance earned her an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress.
Sept. 8, 1986: The first "Oprah Winfrey Show" airs in a nationally syndicated format, after getting its start as the local talk show "AM Chicago" in 1983.
April 2000: Winfrey launches O, The Oprah Magazine, a monthly magazine primarily marketed toward women. She is seen here on the cover of the September 2001 issue.
June 16, 2001: Winfrey speaks at Northwestern University Kellogg Graduate School of Management's 2001 commencement ceremonies in Evanston, Illinois.
Sept. 18, 2001: First lady Laura Bush holds hands with Winfrey during a taping of the "Oprah Winfrey Show" in Chicago.
Sept. 22, 2002: Winfrey accepts her Bob Hope Humanitarian Award during the 54th annual Emmy Awards in Los Angeles.
May 2, 2003: Winfrey and her father, Vernon Winfrey, arrive at the opening of the movie "Charlie's War" at the Nashville Film Festival.
Jan. 11, 2004: Winfrey accepts the award for Favorite Talk Show Host on stage during the 30th Annual People's Choice Awards.
March 1, 2004: Actress Nicole Kidman jokes with Winfrey as they leave the Vanity Fair Oscar party at Morton's restaurant in West Hollywood.
Feb. 27, 2005: Actress Julia Roberts and Winfrey share a laugh at the Governor's Ball after the 77th annual Academy Awards in Hollywood.
May 23, 2005: While appearing on "The Oprah Winfrey Show," actor Tom Cruise infamously jumps on Winfrey's couch while declaring his love for actress Katie Holmes.
Nov. 21, 2005: Winfrey poses with Hillary Clinton in the press room at the 33rd International Emmy Awards Gala in New York City.
Dec. 1, 2005: Winfrey takes a curtain call with the cast of her Broadway musical "The Color Purple" in New York City.
Feb. 6, 2006: Winfrey looks at the body of Coretta Scott King at the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church during a public viewing in Atlanta.
Dec. 8, 2007: Winfrey watches as Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Barack Obama addresses a campaign rally in Des Moines, Iowa.
Sept. 13, 2009: Winfrey and Tyler Perry arrive at the "Precious" film screening during the 34th Toronto International Film Festival.
Dec. 11, 2009: The Disney animated musical "The Princess and the Frog" opens, which features Oprah Winfrey as the voice of Eudora -- the mother of the film's princess, Tiana (Anika Noni Rose).
Dec. 5, 2010: Winfrey and Paul McCartney listen to President Barack Obama as he gives a speech recognizing the 2010 Kennedy Center honorees during a reception in the East Room of the White House.
Dec. 9, 2010: Winfrey poses with two Aboriginal children on a visit to outback Australian icon Uluru. She was in Australia to film two episodes of her talk show at the Sydney Opera House.
Jan. 6, 2011: Winfrey is interviewed at the OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network launch cocktail reception for the Television Critics Association winter press tour in Pasadena, Calif. The cable station debuted on Jan. 1, 2011, in approximately 80 million homes, replacing the former Discovery Health Channel.
May 17, 2011: Winfrey gestures during the taping of "Oprah's Surprise Spectacular" in Chicago. The star-studded episode was the final one of her long-running talk show.
Jan. 17, 2013: In an interview with Winfrey, Lance Armstrong admitted that he won all seven of his record Tour de France championships with the help of performance-enhancing drugs.
Aug. 16, 2013: Winfrey appears with Forest Whitaker in a scene from the movie "Lee Daniels' The Butler." The role, Winfrey's first major movie role since 1998's "Beloved," earned her nominations for several awards, including a BAFTA and a Screen Actors Guild Award.
Nov. 20, 2013: President Barack Obama presents the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Winfrey at a ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington, D.C.
Jan. 16, 2014: Winfrey speaks onstage during the 19th Annual Critics' Choice Movie Awards in Santa Monica, California.
December 2014: Winfrey returned to the screen once again for the movie "Selma," based on the 1965 Selma to Montgomery voting rights marches. She portrayed Annie Lee Cooper, who attempted to register to vote in Selma, Alabama, but was prevented by a white registrar. She also served as an executive producer on the film, which was nominated for Best Picture and won Best Original Song at the 87th Academy Awards.
Dec. 14, 2014: Winfrey poses on the red carpet with "Selma" co-star David Oyelowo and director and executive producer Ava Duvernay at the movie's New York City premiere.
Feb. 22, 2015: Winfrey attends the 87th Annual Academy Awards.
Dec. 12, 2015: Winfrey on stage during her "An Evening With Oprah" tour in Sydney, Australia.