No one can even come close to matching her popularity and wealth. And all she uses is her mouth. But of course there’s a brilliant mind behind that mouth.
US TV sensation Oprah Winfrey has chalked up another milestone as she topped the list of the highest-paid TV celebrities in Forbes financial magazine, earning $260 million between June 2006 and June 2007.
Second in the list was Jerry Seinfeld earning $60 million.
Winfrey was joined at the top of the list by another talk show host, David Letterman, who landed at No. 4 by raking in $40 million in the same period from his “Late Night with David Letterman.”
Simon Cowell, the arrogant and harshly critical judge on top-rated talent show “American Idol” earned $45 million to land at No. 3, and Donald Trump, whose boisterous exclamation “You’re Fired” from reality show “The Apprentice” became part of the pop culture lexicon, was No. 5 with $32 million.
The list shows that in the media arena, it pays to own and produce either all or part of your shows, like Oprah.
That notion becomes abundantly clear in the No. 2 slot, where Jerry Seinfeld sits with $60 million earned mostly from reruns of his co-owned 1990’s sitcom “Seinfeld.”
Barbara Walters, another star who owns and co-produces her daytime show “The View,” landed at No. 18 with $12 million.
The remaining top 20 is as follows;
6. Jay Leno, $32 million
7. Dr. Phil McGraw, $30 million
8. “Judge” Judy Sheindlin, $30 million
9. George Lopez, $26 million
10. Kiefer Sutherland, $22 million
11. Regis Philbin, $21 million
12. Tyra Banks, $18 million
13. Rachael Ray, $16 million,
14. Katie Couric, $15 million
15. Ellen DeGeneres, $15 million
16. Ryan Seacrest, $14 million
17. Matt Lauer, $13 million
18, Barbara Walters, $12 million
19. Diane Sawyer, $12 million
20. Meredith Vieira, $10 million
Going back to Oprah, hers is a compelling rags to riches story. She was born on Jan. 14, 1954 to a poor Baptist family in Mississippi. Her mother, Vernita Lee, was a housemaid, and her father, Vernon Winfrey, was a coal miner and later worked as a barber before becoming a city councilman.
But by virtue of her innate brilliance and strong-willed character, Oprah did not allow her humble beginnings to stymie her goal of making her mark in America.
She is now the multiple-Emmy Award winning host of The Oprah Winfrey Show, the highest rated talk show in television history.
She is also an influential book critic, an Academy Award-nominated actress, and a magazine publisher.
She has been ranked the richest African American of the 20th century, the most philanthropic African American of all time, and the world’s only black billionaire for three straight years.
She is also, according to some assessments, the most influential woman in the world.
What’s the secret to Oprah’s success?
The secret is “The Secret” – the revelations contained in the best-selling book by Australian author Rhonda Byrne.
Oprah herself acknowledged that she owes everything to the Law of Attraction as spelled out in “The Secret.”
In February this year, she devoted the entire Oprah Winfrey Show to dissecting the minds of Ms. Byrne and the other sources of “The Secret.”
For those who have not read the book yet, or seen the DVD, or heard the audio files of “The Secret,” you’re missing a great secret that holds the key to health, wealth and happiness.
Oprah can attest to that.