Psychobiography of Oprah Winfrey
University of Houston-Downtown
Introduction In this paper, Oprah Winfrey’s autobiography will be presented in brief. Her biography will be conceptualized from the cognitive-behavioral theory (CBT) perspective. The most important events that led to changes in her cognitions and behaviors will be discussed. The purpose of this paper is to identify some factors that shaped Oprah’s personality and to analyze the psychological concept of altruism that characterizes her.
Oprah’s Autobiography Oprah Gail Winfrey was born on January 29, 1954 in Kosciusko, Mississippi (Garson, 2011). Until she was six, Oprah stayed with her grandparents on the farm. Her parents, Vernon Winfrey and Vernita Lee, never married, thus making Oprah an illegitimate child. Later, Oprah was forced to move to Wisconsin to live with her mother and her two other siblings, Patricia and Jeffrey. She was an angry, out-of-control teenager; her anger could have been related to living in poverty and having little supervision. Oprah’s personality was also marked by promiscuity, which resulted in frequent advances from her mother’s male partners. She was raped by a cousin in 1963, but tragic events did not stop there. Early childhood years greatly affected Oprah’s cognitions, emotions, and behaviors. The year of 1968…show more content… Stedman Graham and Quincy Jones each had a significant role in Oprah’s life: Graham became her husband for a long time, and Jones invited her to play in the movie The Color Purple. The movie resulted in an Academy Reward and was Oprah’s first step in her national and global recognition and success. Oprah’s program changed its name to Oprah Winfrey’s Show in 1986; she was the first African American female with a national program. Feeling happy because her talent was recognized and supported, she continued helping others. (Garson,