We can't become what we need to be by remaining what we are.
Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links. If make a purchase through these links, we receive a commission at no extra cost to you. Please see our disclosure for more info.
Oprah is an American media executive, actress, talk show host, producer and philanthropist. She was born into poverty to a teenage single mother, and raised in inner-city Milwaukee.
Her story is full of ups and downs, epic highs, and crashing lows.
The Oprah Winfrey Show was the highest-rated TV program of its kind in history and earned her the title of “Queen of All Media.”
Oprah was the richest African American of the 20th century and North America’s first black multi-billionaire.
As well as making her exceptionally wealthy, Oprah has used the power and influence she has gained in the media to help others and has been ranked as “the greatest black philanthropist” in American history.
Learn more about her inspiring story with these Oprah Winfrey quotes about success, happiness, wealth, and growth.
Oprah on Failure and Moving Forwards
Oprah may be extremely successful in the media business now, but like most people she started at the bottom.
During high school, she landed a job working on the local radio station before making the switch to television. In 1976, aged just 22, she was co-anchor of the six 0-clock news on Baltimore’s WJZ-TV.
However, a year later she was removed and forced to work lesser jobs at the station. The producer told her that she didn’t have “the look” and therefore wouldn’t be able to “connect” with the viewers.
In 2013, Oprah Winfrey was the commencement speaker at the 2013 graduations at Harvard University. Her speech was inspiring and encouraging to the new graduates, because it talked about her failures as well as her successes.
Rising from a background of poverty and need, often told that she would not succeed, Oprah offered her own unique brand of advice about failure to the audience:
“It doesn’t matter how far you might rise. At some point you are bound to stumble… If you’re constantly pushing yourself higher, the law of averages, not to mention the Myth of Icarus, predicts that you will at some point fall. And when you do I want you to know this, remember this: there is no such thing as failure. Failure is just life trying to move us in another direction.“
Oprah Quotes about Dreams
Oprah is often said to be the perfect embodiment of the American Dream.
She is certainly extremely successful and wealthy, and has faced plenty of adversity. Many of these Oprah Winfrey quotes are inspired by her struggles and speak directly about following your dreams.
Oprah On Financial and Personal Success
The Oprah Winfrey Show broadcast for the first time on national TV on 8 September 1986 and quickly became the number-one daytime talk show in America.
This down-to-earth, emotional and inquisitive nature is the key to Oprah’s success, which has continued for three decades.
What started out as a tabloid talk show slowly transformed into something much bigger – a show dealing with charity work, substance abuse, cancer and heart disease, and many other topics.
Oprah Winfrey on Life
The Oprah Winfrey Show aired for the last time in May 2011. However, we still talk about her show, and Oprah herself is more successful than ever.
The reason for this is because Oprah has never stopped evolving.
As an actress, she has stared in or voiced characters in many films and TV shows – from The Color Purple to Crash, Disney’s The Princess and the Frog and A Wrinkle in Time.
She is also a writer, has her own magazine, and appears on the radio on her very own XM station.
She is often recognized as one of the most influential people in the world because so many people are still inspired by her story and her success.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this inspiring collection of Oprah Winfrey quotes. Can you think of an empowering Oprah quote we may have forgotten? Please let us know in the comments.
Updated September 4, 2020.