29 Years Ago, Oprah Winfrey Became the First African American Woman to Host Nationally Syndicated Talk Show

Everyday history is made. 29 years ago happened to be a moment in time where Oprah Winfrey took setting her on an unprecedented path.

When you hear the name Oprah Winfrey, you’ll typically get the same few mental descriptions depending on the age group you are asking. You may hear jokes about her billions or her role in ‘The Color Purple, maybe even how she was told “her look” would never be a fit for television. But, the one thing that people know about her is the wildly successful ‘Oprah Winfrey Show‘ that owned daytime until 2011.

That journey began 29 years ago today as Winfrey became the first African American woman to host a nationally syndicated talk show. The show drew an audience of 10 million people and grossed $125 million by the end of its first year. She then maneuvered her way into an ownership position from ABC and gave birth to Harpo Productions thus allowing her to not only produce the show but giving her the necessary experience to eventually launch OWN.

oprah 1976


Icon of hip-hop culture and a pivotal part of the MTV News team, Sway has been a staple of the music-news arena for more than a decade. From giving Eminem, Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac their very first radio airplay on his local show in the mid-’90s to providing television viewers with their first good look at some of today’s hottest celebrities in music, film, fashion and sports. Sway has been there for some of music and the world’s biggest moments.

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