Oprah Winfrey is one of the most influential and inspiring women in the world.
She’s the only African American woman included on Forbes’ list of the 400 richest people in America.
She’s now worth an estimated $US 2.8 billion (AU$3.5 billion) and has properties in LA, Chicago, Hawaii, Georgia, and Antigua.
Oh, and if you ask those closest to her, she’s seriously considering running for the presidency in 2020.
But Oprah’s early life was a far cry from the success she enjoys today.
Born in 1954 to a teen mum on an isolated farm in Kosciusko, Mississippi, Oprah’s early life was punctuated by neglect, violence and sexual assault.
Oprah’s grandmother, who was her primary caretaker while her mum searched for work, would savagely beat the young girl at random.
Listen: Why all the signs are pointing to Oprah running in 2020. (Post continues after audio...)
“I grew up in an environment where children were seen and not heard,” she told David Letterman.
“I went to a well to get some water and carry it in a bucket. And I was playing in the water with my fingers, and my grandmother had seen me out the window and she didn’t like it.
“She whipped me so badly that I had welts on my back and the welts would bleed. And then when I put on my Sunday dress, I was bleeding from the welts. And then she was very upset with me because I got blood on the dress.
“So then I got another whipping for getting blood on the dress.”