Oprah Winfrey | Tennessee Vacation

Oprah Winfrey

Tennessee State University
Nashville, TN 37209
(615) 963-5000
(888) 463-6878

Everyone knows iconic powerhouse Oprah Winfrey. But, here are some things you might not have known about Oprah Winfrey and her Tennessee roots.

An honors student at East Nashville High School, Oprah's activities included drama, debate and student council. And, she was voted "Most Popular Girl." Her first job as a teenager was working at a local grocery store.

Oprah joined her high school speech team at East Nashville High School, placing second in the nation in dramatic interpretation. She won a full scholarship to Tennessee State University in an oratory contest. Oprah studied communications at Tennessee State. She was invited to a White House conference on youth.

She won Nashville's Miss Fire Prevention contest in 1971. WVOL, a local Nashville radio station and the pageant sponsor, offered Winfrey a job reading the afternoon headlines on air. After being crowned Miss Black Tennessee in 1972, she competed in the Miss Black America competition, but her burgeoning news career and college studies ended her pageant days. In her sophomore year, at age 19, she became both the youngest news anchor and the first black female news anchor at Nashville's WLAC-TV.

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