Oprah turned 65 this year. The billionaire is a philanthropist, trendsetter, and extraordinary role model for women across the globe. And, she doesn’t seem to be slowing down at all. Oprah seems to have it all—but why did she think she wouldn’t live past 56?
“I used to have this dream that I was going to be dead at 56, so the year that I turned 56 I was filled with dread,” Winfrey tells People Magazine. What was going on that year that made her think she would die at the prime of her life?
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I can’t tell you how many times people have introduced me to their best friends as, “She’s my Gayle.” The reason our friendship has worked for over 40 years, without arguments or fallouts, is that we’ve always been happy with our own lives. A true friend can’t be jealous of you, or want to take advantage of you in any way. Ever since we met in 1976, we’ve been doing the same thing. Listening. Talking. Laughing (a lot). Building dreams. Cheering. Being a shoulder to cry on. Speaking the truth. Being the truth. And now? Posing for our FIRST @oprahmagazine cover for September’s friendship issue. Link in bio for more. 📸: @ruvenafanador
Oprah was haunted by dreams that her life was going to end when she was 56 and she kept her fears from everyone except best friend Gayle King. Most of her anxiety was due to her humble beginnings and life in Milwaukee. She revealed that she would have had a very difficult life if she never left home.
Oprah Winfrey was born in Kosciusko, Mississippi. She grew up in poverty but didn’t let that deter her from achieving an education. After working her way through college, she became interested in journalism and media and got her first job as a news anchor for a local TV station. Even though she had great success as an on-air journalist in the 80’s, Oprah still had doubts and a premonition of early death. However, prior to her 57th birthday, she did something drastic–ended The Oprah Winfrey Show!
“Had I not gotten out of Milwaukee, nothing would have been the same. I do believe I would have been dead at 56. I believe I would have been 437 lbs. I believe I would have had diabetes. I would have had high blood pressure. I would have suffocated knowing that things could have been different, ” she told People Magazine. Lucky for us, Oprah did leave and went on to start her own network. It turns out that her fear was a great catalyst for taking her to the next level.
Today Oprah continues to amaze us with her work through The Oprah Winfrey Foundation, her charity organization that funds projects of special interest to Ms. Winfrey, including education, learning and leadership development. She’s in a strong committed relationship with longtime partner, Stedman Graham and is a role model for women, young and old, around the world.