When did it happen? When did Oprah's reign as chief influencer of female America begin? My colleagues and I asked ourselves this question after once again marvelling at her power.
Here is a timeline but I ask you dear readers, what was the tipping point?
1984-January 2, First episode of A.M. Chicago
1986-September 8, Show expands to one hour and is broadcast nationally. Harpo Productions is formed the same year.
1987-Oprah wins her first EMMY.
1988-Harpo Productions obtains ownership and production responsibilities for her show from ABC-TV station, WLS in Chicago
1989-Recipient of NAACP's Entertainer of the Year Award.
1990-Produces and stars in Brewster Place
1991- Initiated the National Child Protection Act and testified before Congress
1992-Bob Green appointed supervisor of her exercise program.
1993- Hosted an interview with Michael Jackson which reached an audience of one hundred million.
1994-Co-authored the book In the Kitchen with Rosie
1995-Became first woman on Forbes list of 400 Richest Americans.
1996-September 16, Oprah announced the start of her on-air book club.
1996-Dr. Phil debuts on her program
1997-Formation of Angel Network
1998-Formation of Oxygen Media
2000-April, Oprah launches O magazine
2002-O magazine named Most Successful Start-Up Ever by Forbes magazine
2004-Time Magazine names her one of the 100 People Who most influenced the 20th Century.
2004-Fall, Oprah gives a Pontiac G6 to everyone in the audience.
2005-Named "The Greatest Woman in American History" as part of a public poll.
2005-May 23, Tom Cruise couch incident.
2006-Oprah signs 3 year contract with XM Satellite Radio.
2007-May, Oprah endorses Barack Obama
2007-Oprah opens Multi-million dollar school for girls in South Africa
2008-March, Oprah's Big Give debuts
There are now an average of 8.5 million viewers per original airing.
Another Question: Can you think of any other person in America with more influence?