Celebrating Oprah

Oprah Winfrey: 10 Moments That Made an Icon

From sharing her toughest struggles to her greatest triumphs, here's how the host became the Queen of Talk


The first episode of the nationally syndicated The Oprah Winfrey Show aired on Sept. 8, 1986, and it was an instant hit. Unable to book a star guest for the premiere, "We decided to do what we do best and that is a show about and with everyday people," Winfrey said in her opening remarks. That formula worked – and helped define Winfrey's good-hearted and relatable persona.