Oprah Winfrey

by ethnic on June 5, 2009

Birth Name: Orpah Gail Winfrey

Place of Birth: Kosciusko, Mississippi, U.S.

Date of Birth: January 29, 1954

Ethnicity: African-American [including Kpelle, Bamileke, and Zambian]

Oprah Winfrey is an American media proprietor, talk show host, actress, producer, and philanthropist. She is regarded as one of the most influential women in the world, and possibly the wealthiest African-American of the 20th century. She was the host of The Oprah Winfrey Show from 1986 to 2011.

Oprah’s parents, Vernon Winfrey and Vernita Lee, are both black. Her partner is author and public speaker Stedman Graham. Her birth name is Orpah, after the biblical figure, in the Book of Ruth. She uses the name Oprah, as people usually mispronounced it that way.

Oprah’s story is a rags-to-riches one. She was born in Kosciusko, Mississippi, to a single teenage mother. She herself became pregnant at the age of fourteen. Unfortunately, her baby died soon after birth. Despite her beginnings, Oprah finished school and received a scholarship into Tennessee State University, where she studied communications. She gave birth prematurely at age fourteen, to a son, Canaan, who died shortly after. At the age of seventeen, Oprah won the Miss Black Tennessee Beauty Pageant.

A DNA test whose results were displayed on the show African American Lives (2006) stated that Oprah’s genetic ancestry is:

*89% Sub-Saharan African
*8% Native American
*3% East Asian

“East Asian” may refer to more Native American roots. It is not clear if these lineages have been verified/documented genealogically. The same DNA test stated that Oprah has ancestry from the Kpelle people (from what is now Liberia), the Bamileke people (from Cameroon), and a Bantu-speaking tribe (from Zambia).

Oprah’s paternal grandfather was Elmore Winfrey (the son of Sanford Elias Winfrey and Ella Staples). Elmore was born in Mississippi. Sanford was the son of Constantine Winfrey, who was born a slave, in Georgia, and of Violet A. Nunn, who was also born a slave, in North Carolina. Constantine likely took his surname from a slave owner, Absalom F. Winfrey. Oprah’s great-grandmother Ella was the daughter of William Staples and Abigail Howard.

Oprah’s paternal grandmother was Beatrice Woods (the daughter of Thomas/Tom W. Woods and Hattie Ross). Beatrice was born in Mississippi. Thomas was the son of Monroe Woods and Henrietta. Hattie was the daughter of Simon Ross and Katie.

Oprah’s maternal grandfather was Earless/Earlist/Erlisst Lee (the son of Harold/Harry Lee and Elizabeth). Earless was born in Mississippi. Harold was born a slave in Mississippi. He was the son of John Lee and Grace.

Oprah’s maternal grandmother was Hattie Mae Presley/Pressley (the daughter of Nelson/Milton Alexander Presley/Pressley and Amanda Winters). Hattie was born in Mississippi. Amanda was the daughter of Pearce Winters and Henrietta.

A farmer named Noah Robinson, Sr. has stated that he is Oprah’s biological father. It is not clear if this claim has been investigated in any detail.

Sources: Genealogies of Oprah Winfrey – http://www.wargs.com
http://www.geni.com
http://genealogy.about.com

The Guardian article on DNA tests among African-Americans, 2006 – http://www.guardian.co.uk

Helga Esteb / Shutterstock.com

{ 83 comments… read them below or add one }

andrew January 4, 2017 at 3:24 pm
Capricious October 8, 2015 at 10:45 pm

I love you fopra

neiltennant July 15, 2015 at 5:54 am

i always thought she is biracial

by the way i think she was and is good looking

Zatm81 July 15, 2015 at 2:53 pm

Lol how is she biracial? Does she have one parent of one race and one of another. No. This madness has to stop.

cwm85 July 15, 2015 at 2:57 pm

LOL my mom is Oprah’s complexion my mom is all black. No way is someone’s first thought is Oprah being mix with white or anything. She is 89 percent African with no Euro mix. Sounds about right! She blend right with west African people, like my mom. My dad is Scottish, English and Native Navajo.

neiltennant July 15, 2015 at 3:07 pm

please stop to claim that you african americans are of pure african blood
thats not right

i know there had been those ***** laws in america avoiding that blacks and whites coming together

but in fact there are lot of cases of rape or illegal love between black and whites

thats for sure

cwm85 July 15, 2015 at 3:14 pm

Oprah is clearly not mixed. Her DNA test proved she has zero European admixture. She is 89 percent African and 3 and 8 percent Asian/native American.

California July 24, 2015 at 8:47 pm

You think Oprah is good looking? She’s fugly to me.

WTF January 29, 2015 at 5:14 am

I think she’s so ugly and apparently Waka Flock Flame thinks so too lmfaoo. But he’s ugly as sin so he really shouldn’t be talking.

WTF January 29, 2015 at 5:15 am

Flocka****

black_bahian February 5, 2015 at 10:42 am

she isnt ugly you ignorant,

M June 9, 2015 at 5:42 am

Ugly? I just think she’s average. Are you saying she’s ugly because she’s dark-skinned???

neiltennant December 20, 2014 at 1:10 pm

OPRAH WINFREY good example of IT DOESNT MATTER WHICH SKIN COLOUR SOME HAS

IT does matter if someone is thin or fat

she looked not good when she had overweight

neiltennant December 20, 2014 at 1:09 pm

im not sure but she looks a little bit caucasian. Of course she is dark. But it could be that she has some european roots

Ryan January 18, 2013 at 3:46 am

her cheekbones and eyes give her a visible Native look

Daisuke November 20, 2012 at 3:29 pm

you people really think your opinion matters in the world

levangelista36 July 11, 2012 at 3:42 am

From a scientific journal:

“Nor am I writing this to argue that there are no races. The fact that a poodle may have 1-10% of bulldog blood somewhere does not make him a bulldog.”

The scientist was discussing different admixtures in different populations of white people and made it clear that just because the white person isn’t purebred does not mean that they are not white. They also noted that the majority of white people have different degrees of African, Asian, and in the case of white Americans, Native American admixture. Some people came out with .05% African while others came out with 6%.

I think the same applies to African-Americans.

This racial purity nonsense is just that . . . nonsense.

Multiethnicchick July 12, 2012 at 12:27 am

interesting point

sadie March 24, 2012 at 3:04 am

She wears colored contact lenses and is absolutely BLACK. She is bigoted!!

levangelista36 July 11, 2012 at 3:25 am

How is she bigoted? Since when does Oprah wear colored contact lenses?

christian March 24, 2012 at 2:51 am

oprah winfrey is not only a wealthy woman but also very intelligent and has a heart

for me she must have something more than only native and african background

she has light brown eyes , which is a sign for a european background

as of 1500 100 percent of all africans in africa (except north africa) had dark brown eyes

and as of 1492 100 percent of all native americans had black eyes

levangelista36 July 11, 2012 at 3:26 am

She had a D.N.A. test. You don’t know what you’re talking about half of the time.

nnnnn November 20, 2012 at 12:31 pm
BRAZIL February 29, 2012 at 5:57 pm

ONE OF THE MOST POWERFUL WOMAN IN AMERICA

storm January 29, 2012 at 12:16 am

oprah is biracial like everyone else

Liam O'Connel February 6, 2012 at 10:51 pm

like everyone else? what on earth are you talking about? and oprah is NOT biracial…biracial= someone who is 50% one race and 50% another…she is mixed, but she is mostly black

Grace February 29, 2012 at 6:57 pm

No she is mainly black with a slight mixture

Ryan January 18, 2013 at 3:52 am

She is Black with some admixture = African American
Whether White, Native or other…

levangelista36 July 11, 2012 at 3:28 am

Most people in the world are not biracial. Most people in the world are predominantly of one race.

westovermarching October 10, 2014 at 2:04 am

not Black Americans

midori29 February 12, 2018 at 10:38 am

@Westovermarching African Americans are predominantely subsaharan black. You would have to have high dna numbers of Subsaharan black African to be considered African American or at least one black parent has to qualify as AFRICAN AMERICAN or African.

kaykay January 28, 2012 at 11:55 pm

Truth is there is no such thing as race when it comes to humans. race is of another species while ethnicity is different cultural backgrounds. But then again that doesn’t exist either the only thing tht is different would be skin tones and features. there is no black white spanish etc. And if you want to talk abt ethnicity then were all pretty much mixed because there’s aren’t anymore pure people to go around. people need to stop worrying about race/ethnicity because there are no such things

A/N December 7, 2011 at 1:03 pm

SHE HASN’T DONE A DAMN THING. SHE ONLY HAS A BIG MOUTH THAT PEOPLE HAVE AFFORDED HER AN OPPORTUNITY TO USE. SHE HAS NEVER DONE A THING. SHE WAS GIVEN A TALK SHOW BECAUSE OF LIBERAL BULLSHIT AND AFFIRMATIVE ACTION. SHE DIDN’T EARN IT OR BUILD IT OR START IT. I DON’T KNOW WHY PEOPLE EVEN LIKE THIS EGOTISTICAL BIG MOUTH BITCH WHO CAN’T DO ANYTHING ELSE. GOD SHE IS USELSS AND SHE’S JUST AS BIG A FRAUD AS OBAMA, WHO ALSO HAS NEVER DONE A DAMN THING IN HIS LIFE. THEY ARE DIED-IN-THE-WOOL TYPICAL SOCIALIST LIBERALS WITH THE HANDS FOREVER OUT PLEADING FOR THIS AND THAT. I HAVE NO IDEA WHY THEY EVEN KEPT HER ON THE TV, BUT I GUESS THEY HAD NOTHING BETTER TO PUT ON THERE. IT TOOK 25 YEARS TO GET THIS BIG MOUTH ASS OFF THE AIR, AND NO ONE EVEN CARES THAT SHE IS GONE. SHE CAN’T EVEN CUT IT ON CABLE AT ALL. SHE IS A COMPLETE FLOP. NO ONE EVEN WATCHES HER AT ALL IN THE REAL WORLD, WHEN AND WHERE IT COUNTS. NOW THAT SHE CAN’T GET ANYONE TO WATCH HER, AFTER THEY PROMOTED THE HELL OUT OF HER FOR THAT STUPID CHANNEL CALLED: OWN, SHE’S NOW TRYING TO WORM HER WAY BACK ON TO LOCAL/NATIONAL TV AGAIN. GOD, PLEASE DON’T BRING THAT CUNT BACK. SHE’S A FUCKING FRAUD, JUST LIKE OBAMA!!!

jill October 7, 2011 at 6:37 am

you forgot toni braxton shes not half black shes just african american why everybody talking about people race you
all need stop judging people only god judges its pretty people and
all racist bad lookin people in all racist im real light skin my
eyes real light brown lody tell me is they contact lenses tell her
they my real eyes its the way i was born i had a dna im african im
not mixed with nothing its the way god made me

harijuku princess April 16, 2011 at 6:25 pm

ok so beyonce is ugly nicki minaj toni braxton is ugly b/c when you say that thats what your saying and your calling every half black person ugly to includng mariah carey and halle berry basicly what im saying black wallstreet is you is an ignorant asshole with no point

Fuzzybear April 16, 2011 at 8:49 pm

You guys do see that was someone else just saying they were me

me June 20, 2011 at 8:16 pm

Nicki Minaj isnt half black, shes fully black. Shes just two types of black. African & Trinidadian.

A/N December 7, 2011 at 1:27 pm

WRONG, WRONG, WRONG!!! GENETICALLY BLACK IS GENETICALLY BLACK, NO MATTER WHERE OR WHAT COUNTRY YOU OR YOUR ANCESTORS COME FROM. HUMANS ARE EITHER WHITE, BLACK, OR ASIAN, AND THAT IS IT. YOU CAN BE BIRACIAL, WHICH IS A MIX OF TWO OR EVEN THREE OF THESE THREE GENETICALLY PURE RACES, BUT THAT IS IT.

THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS “BEING” IRISH OR MEXICAN OR ENGLISH OR CUBAN OR SPANISH OR ITALIAN OR RUSSIAN OR GERMAN OR GREEK OR MOROCCAN OR IRANIAN OR INDIAN OR SAMOAN OR HAWAIIAN OR FRENCH OR JAPANESE OR CHINESE OR KOREAN OR SWEDISH OR SCOTTISH OR SWISS OR AFRICAN OR WHATEVER. THIS ONLY REFERS TO A GEOGRAPHICAL LOCATION/NATION THAT YOU AND/OR YOUR ANCESTORS ARE FROM. THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH GENETIC RACES AT ALL. THESE ARE TWO ENTIRELY DIFFERENT THINGS, WITH DIFFERENT MEANINGS. ALL HUMANS ARE EITHER WHITE, BLACK, OR ASIAN, OR A MIX OF TWO OR THREE THESE RACES. LIKE IT OR NOT, THAT IS A FACT!! MANY PEOPLE ARE BIRACIAL, BUT THANK GOD I’M NOT. LOL-LOL-LOL!

GO BACK TO SCHOOL YOU UNEDUCATED FUCK-HEADS!!

Seba December 15, 2011 at 11:34 am

A/N stop trying to be something your not and that’s trying to sound educated! You talk about Oprah and President Obama not making any contributions to the world!lmao! lmao! lmao! What knowledge are you bringing to this board only proving what an idiot you truly are? Look how you chose to identify yourself A/N! You can’t even stand by what you are saying! Using two letters in the alphabet to identify yourself! Mmmmm! Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to decieve! Shame on you ! Just for the record your speaking with someone who is highly educated ! You give people with degrees a bad name! It’s okay that you want to voice your opinion but it’s your verbage in closing that makes you a classless act! Besides there are far too many people who have contributed absolutely nothing to society and your not identifying who they are! At least these individuals are trying to be problem solvers and not trying to keep confusion going on in this country as many from the past have done, only looking out for themselves and their own greed! Instead of your telling others they need to go back to school perhaps you need take your own advice! Cause you have plum lost your mind screaming at the top of your lungs throughout your messages! You sound like one of those people we need to watchout for in society! A ticking time bomb!lol! You have far too much hatred in you and you need to work that out with the LORD!
PEACE BE!

damn March 16, 2011 at 11:17 pm

wow there is alot of hate in this page

joey January 25, 2012 at 11:32 pm

Agreed y r they so caught up on racism on this site?

scorpianne February 27, 2011 at 9:05 pm

i think theres so much ignorance to define race is to try and define any 1 of the organized religions…
Its so far gone now through the generations, it’s true, we are all mixed with something. Race is not as Black and White as people try to make it. I’m black and white and i KNOW ppl view me as a Black Woman, i never care, cuz I CANT CHANGE IT. :}

the gun February 23, 2011 at 6:47 pm

To call Africans ugly is to call light darkness. To call Africans ugly is to call love hate. Africa is home to the most beautiful people on earth. to be African is to be equal to beauty. i have an African girlfriend and i promise you she is more beautiful than any European that has ever lived. Beauty originated from Africa, and the best looking Americans all have African genetics

Beyjay September 30, 2011 at 1:12 am

yeah mama, white ppl are just sooooo jealous

Angry Truth February 6, 2011 at 2:20 am

Oprah’s a stupid bitch that tells people what to do and only sides african american’s. If Obama killed a baby, she would defend him by saying he probably had a good reason.

A/N December 7, 2011 at 3:55 pm

BOY ISN’T THAT THE ABSOLUTE TRUTH. THE ONLY REASON SHE WAS ON TV IS BECAUSE A WHITE PERSON PUT HER THERE. UNFORTUNATELY, PEOPLE HAD TO PUT UP WITH HER TO 25 YEARS, WHICH IS 24 YEARS, 11 MONTHS, 3 WEEKS, AND 6 DAYS TOO, TOO LONG!!!!!!!!!!! THEY SHOULD NEVER HAVE PUT HER ON THE AIR. SHE DIDN’T WORK FOR IT, DESERVE IT, OR WAS EVEN ENTITLED TO IT. I HAVE NO IDEA WHY OR HOW SHE REMAINED ON TV SO LONG BECAUSE NO ONE I KNEW EVEN WATCHED HER. SHE ALWAYS HAD THE SAME WOMEN IN THE AUDIENCE, AND NONE OF HER MAGAZINES SOLD AT ALL. PEOPLE IN THE TV INDUSTRY JUST CONTINUED TO SUPPORT HER, JUST LIKE TYPICAL LIBERAL PARASITES. I DON’T CARE EITHER WAY WHETHER SHE IS ON TV OR NOT BECAUSE I DON’T WATCH LOCAL/NATIONAL TV STATIONS LIKE ABC, CBS, NBC, ETC., BECAUSE THEY ARE ULTRA LIBERALS AND HAVE HELPED TO DESTROY OUR COUNTRY AND I CANNOT ABIDE OR PROMOTE THAT BY WATCHING THEM. WE BOYCOTT ALL LIBERAL TV STATIONS, TALK SHOWS, COMEDIANS, IDIOT CELEBS, RADIO STATIONS, NEWSPAPERS, MAGAZINES, INTERNET SERVICE PROVIDERS, WEBSITES, ETC…. FURTHERMORE, WE DO NOT PURCHASE ANY GOODS, MERCHANDISE, SERVICE, OR PRODUCTS FROM ANY COMPANIES WHO ADVERTISE AND DO BUSINESS WITH THEM EITHER. IT’S VERY EASY TO BUY ALTERNATIVE PRODUCTS AND GOODS WHICH DO NOT, NOT, NOT SUPPORT, HELP, PROMOTE, OR FURTHER THE LIBERAL CAUSE.
 
LIBERAL ARE NOTHING BUT LYING, DESTRUCTIVE, DANGEROUS, VILE, DECEITFUL, CORRUPT, SOCIALIST, COMMUNISTS, FASCIST SCUM.

Samia_Kabullah_Bella November 28, 2010 at 10:03 am

Not all Africans are ugly,how many Africans have you know (celebs don’t count) ?!
Most Africans i know aren’t bad looking and i’m from Marseille(France) which has a pretty high African immigration rate so zip it!

fuzzybear February 6, 2011 at 3:11 am

To Samia_Kabullah_Bella

For the record,that was not me that made that dumbass comment.That was just some dumbass fool running around using my name.You would see the icons are different

ria October 22, 2010 at 4:12 pm

You know what i don’t understand? when a black celeb looks clearly black but has a little bit of another race from their ancestry people say they are mixed and not entirely black. Then when a white celeb who looks obviously white has a little bit of black people don’t say they’re mixed but white. White/black + white = white , Black/white + black = black , Black/white + White/black = mixed or Black + white= mixed. I don’t think that if a person has another race in their long ago ancestry it defines them as mixed because as the generations goes on the race breaks down until the actual gene and race of the individual’s parents.

Azucár Sweet July 9, 2010 at 11:24 am

Oprah is an African American woman who would kill to be white. Her words when she spoke at my sister’s graduation.

ethnic July 10, 2010 at 7:45 pm

in What context did she say that? what exactly did she say?

????? June 4, 2010 at 2:29 pm

Познавательно! Все бы так писали :)

total23 May 17, 2010 at 4:43 pm

She Also Has 3% Of Asian

total23 May 17, 2010 at 4:53 pm
total23 May 17, 2010 at 4:54 pm
Bombpants May 6, 2010 at 2:03 pm

We are all one.

Anonymous May 6, 2010 at 1:59 pm

think about it we are all mixed somehow no matter what we all the same for f sakes

Yvette April 28, 2010 at 3:38 am
siddee April 18, 2010 at 4:53 pm

i love oprah

Tribe March 29, 2010 at 5:18 am

WOW that really is something…show me a celeb who HASN’T got Native American Ancestry

kira:D March 20, 2010 at 1:01 pm

Great pics fuz

Wat??? February 20, 2010 at 9:21 pm

lol how can one be purly african american???

and thank you, not all African women are bald unless they shave it that way!

Fuzzybear February 20, 2010 at 4:19 pm

To jessi,

I suggest you look at more than one tribe next time.African women aren’t balded unless they shaved their hair off on purpose.Most West African women love there hair:

http://img2.photographersdirect.com/img/27897/wm/pd2295297.jpg

Omawumi:
http://www.bellanaija.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/Omawumi-Wonder-Woman1-600×600.jpg

http://img508.imageshack.us/img508/8905/missnigeria01al1.jpg

jessi February 20, 2010 at 3:50 pm

I believe Oprah is more native than “African” her hair is to long and thick like indians and African women especialy West African women are usally bald. Oprah even favors the black aboriginals who have soft thick kind of kiny hair and wide features. I dont believe those DNA test.

mariela December 26, 2010 at 4:25 pm

are you crazy? what west african woman have you seen thats bald? you guys are so ignorant

Chief_Mulatto_Native February 16, 2010 at 10:54 am

Oprah is mixed with black, Native American, and Asian. She is not pure black.

ethnic January 19, 2010 at 5:28 pm

no it says right here that she has Native American roots.

http://www.ket.org/pressroom/2007/03/OPRR.html

rockstarrr. January 19, 2010 at 6:56 am

Then why are alot of people claiming it?
Lol.

chillchica January 19, 2010 at 6:07 am

This is wrong. I saw a PBS special a few years ago. “African-aerican lives”. They tested Oprah and it turn out she is 100% Black. So no, Nina. Not all African Americans are ixed with Native American. In fact, most aren’t.

only 5 January 18, 2010 at 4:21 am

Actually no they do not. That’s like saying all white people have Native American in them, not true.

nina January 18, 2010 at 4:15 am

All African Americans born in the US have some Native American in them

Princess January 16, 2010 at 3:57 pm

Thank You!!! No one is purely any one race.

frustrated January 16, 2010 at 12:00 pm

Thank You for pointing that out! There’s no such thing as “purely african american” stupid ass mafuckas man

hellokitty December 17, 2009 at 4:49 am

And how can you be purely African American? Uneducated people….

Wat??? December 7, 2009 at 10:42 pm

@ native Yeah I remember that, and I wonder why she didn’t want to be native?

native December 7, 2009 at 8:59 am

Winfrey had her DNA tested for the 2006 PBS program African American Lives. The genetic test determined that her maternal line originated among the Kpelle ethnic group, in the area that today is Liberia. Her genetic make up was determined to be 89 percent Sub-Saharan African. She is part Native American (about eight percent according to the test) and East Asian (about three percent according to the test).[citation needed]

native December 7, 2009 at 8:54 am

Oprah, was determined not to be native america, She agreed to a dna test to show her true nationalities. and it was infact proved that she was not native american.

afrah November 27, 2009 at 5:36 am

really who cares oprah she is a great women and if she black or white who care!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oprah Winfrey November 21, 2009 at 12:26 pm

Oprah is Saudian Arabian yes its treu beacause i am OPRAH WINFREY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sheena September 18, 2009 at 10:38 pm

Native Pride ALWAYS!!!!!

Plus Size Clothing Woman August 4, 2009 at 6:42 pm

Oprah has native American ancestor? I thought Oprah is purely African-American.

ethnic July 12, 2009 at 8:20 pm

I dont think anyone is denying that.

Brent July 12, 2009 at 2:54 am

she still is black…..

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