Oprah Winfrey: Lady with a Calling

Oprah Winfrey, Abused Child and Young Beauty Queen, Was Awful As an Anchorwoman, But Now Runs Tv's Highest-Rated Daytime Talk Show with Curiosity, Humor and Empathy

It is half an hour before showtime, and Oprah Winfrey is a lake of calm amid the gusts of activity around her. While a hairdresser and a makeup man are fussing over her, an Oprah Winfrey Show producer, Dianne Hudson, is giving her a ten-minute prep session for this morning's show. The subject is B.S. -- people who use it, people who hate it -- and the topic is giving the host some trouble.

"I'm trying to relate to it," says Oprah, a lavender dressing smock draped over her shoulders and a stack of clippings and notes in her lap. "Do...

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