12/20/2008 at 07:00 AM EST
Add another honor to Oprah Winfrey
's mantle: People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has named her its "Person of the Year."
The Norfolk, Va.-based animal rights' group's president, Ingrid E. Newkirk, on Friday singled out the media mogul, 54, for using her "powerful voice to defend those without one."
In April this year, Winfrey dedicated an episode
of her show to her late cocker spaniel, Sophie, who was 13.
Winfrey, who will become the proud recipient of a PETA award plaque and letter of appreciation, was traveling and not available for comment, the Associated Press reports.
– Stephen M. Silverman