Watch Oprah’s historic moments as the first black woman to host a national TV show in 1986

Francis Akhalbey February 08, 2019
First episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show -- Screenshot via OWN

Oprah Winfrey has had a very stellar career as a media mogul. Before she became one of the world’s richest women, she faced a number of challenges growing up but she faced them head on to become the woman she is today.

Winfrey is famously known for her eponymous TV show, which at a certain point in time was the highest-rated nationally syndicated television show. Her philanthropic ventures have also made her a beloved personality across the world.

When did the Oprah Winfrey show start though?

Before her famous eponymous show, Oprah had stints at WLAC-TV in Nashville (she became the station’s youngest news anchor and first black female news anchor) as well as WJZ-TV in Baltimore in 1976.

From there, she moved to Chicago where she became host of WLS-TV’s AM Chicago morning talk show. With her to thank, the show evolved to become the highest rated talk show in Chicago beating the highly popular Phil Donahue Show.

After signing a syndication deal with King World, the show was renamed the Oprah Winfrey show and the rest is history.

1986 was a very pivotal and groundbreaking year for Oprah as she became the first black woman to host a nationally syndicated show on February 8. The first episode of the Oprah Winfrey Show was also aired nationally on September 8.

Take a look at some of her 1986 shows below:

Last Edited by:Victor Ativie Updated: March 29, 2020


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