She began attending Lincoln High School, Milwaukee; but after early success in the Upward Bound program, was transferred to the affluent suburban Nicolet High School, where she says her poverty was constantly rubbed in her face as she rode the bus to school with fellow African-Americans, some of whom were servants of her classmates' families.She began to steal money from her mother in an effort to keep up with her free-spending peers, to lie to and argue with her mother, and to go out with older boys.However, Mississippi farmer and World War II veteran Noah Robinson Sr., (born c. A genetic test in 2006 determined that her matrilineal line originated among the Kpelle ethnic group, in the area that today is Liberia.Her genetic makeup was determined to be 89% Sub-Saharan African, 8% Native American, and 3% East Asian.Her grandmother taught her to read before the age of three and took her to the local church, where she was nicknamed "The Preacher" for her ability to recite Bible verses.
She worked there during her senior year of high school, and again while in her first two years of college.
She moved to Baltimore's WJZ-TV in 1976 to co-anchor the six o'clock news.
In 1977, she was removed as co-anchor and worked lower profile positions at the station.
Ebert predicted that she would generate 40 times as much revenue as his television show, At the Movies.
Winfrey's syndicated show brought in double Donahue's national audience, displacing Donahue as the number-one daytime talk show in America.
Winfrey's career choice in media would not have surprised her grandmother, who once said that ever since Winfrey could talk, she was on stage.